Blue Origin, the space firm of Jeff Bezos, lost its lead rocket engine engineer amid the nearing deliveries of its BE-4 rocket engine to the United Launch Alliance.
(Photo : NASA Kennedy/Creative Commons)
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin announces the delay of its next-generation rocket, The New Glenn, back to late 2022, saying that the loss of key Pentagon launch contracts to competitors Elon Musk’s SpaceX program and United Launch Alliance (ULA) was the primary reason for its delay in the schedule.
Blue Origin Lead Rocket Engine Engineer Leaves
The CEO of Blue Origin, Bob Smith, has notified the employees of the space firm that its senior vice president of Blue Engines, John Vilja, is departing the company, as per a news story by ArsTechnica.
The memo seen by the news outlet explained that the departure of the engineer leading the charge for the rocket engine program of Blue Origin comes as Vilja seeks to pursue both his hobbies and interests.
The Blue Origin CEO highlighted some of the contributions of VIlja to the space firm, noting that he “led the team to support eight New Shepard missions,” which were all powered by the BE-3PM engines.
(Photo : Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – AUGUST 31: Storm clouds and a rainbow appear over Jeff Bezos Blue Origin Aerospace Manufacturer building as Hurricane Dorian approaches Florida, on August 31, 2019 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Dorian could be a Category 4 storm as it approaches the state and possibly making landfall as early as Monday somewhere along the east coast.
On top of that, the Blue Origin boss also said that the stint of Vilja leading the Blue Engines also “made progress on multiple engines’ development programs.”
Not to mention that the departing Blue Origin exec also established a team for the rocket engine program of the firm that included the best talents out there.
Blue Origin BE-4 Rocket Engines
The sources of ArsTechnica said in the same report that the departure of the lead engineer of Blue Engine comes as the BE-4 rocket engines are already in their final production.
The BE-4 flight engine is already nearing its deliveries to the testing site to ensure that it could already be used in real-life flying.
Despite that, a spokesperson from the space firm told ArsTechnica that even if the lead engineer of Blue Engines is leaving, it does not affect the production of the BE-4 engines.
Blue Origin Finds Pete Davidson Replacement
Meanwhile, according to a recent report by CNN, Bezos’ space firm has already found its replacement for the Saturday Night Live star, Pete Davidson, who was previously supposed to fly to space.
Davidson is supposed to fly in the New Shepard rocket of Blue Origin, along with five other paying customers as part of the space tourism project of the firm.
However, when Blue Origin announced a delay for the said flight, it also revealed that Davidson will no longer be in the upcoming space tourism journey.
Instead, the SNL star will be replaced by the chief architect of the suborbital rocket of Blue Origin, Gary Lai.
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Written by Teejay Boris
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