Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ space company, lost its lead rocket engine engine engineer as a result of nearing deliveries of its BE-4 rocket engine to United Launch Alliance.
Blue Origin, owned by Jeff Bezos, announces that its next-generation rocket, The New Glenn has been delayed to late 2022. It cites as the main reason the schedule was delayed due to the loss of key Pentagon contract contracts to Elon Musk’s SpaceX program (SpaceX) and United Launch Alliance(ULA).
Blue Origin Lead Rocket Engine Engine Engineer Leaves
According to a news article by ArsTechnica, Bob Smith, Blue Origin’s CEO, has informed employees that John Vilja is leaving the company as its senior vice president for Blue Engines.
According to the memo, the departure of the engineer responsible for Blue Origin’s rocket engine program was due to Vilja wanting to pursue his hobbies and interests.
Blue Origin CEO, Vilja, highlighted some of his contributions to the firm. He noted that he “led a team to support eight New Shepard missions,” all of which were powered by the BE-3PM engines.
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images).
CAPE CANAVERAL FLORIDA, AUGUST 31: Storm clouds, a rainbow and storm clouds appear above Jeff Bezos Blue Origin Aerospace manufacturer building as Hurricane Dorian approaches Florida on August 31, 2019. This was in Cape Canaveral (Florida). Dorian could become a Category 4 storm as the storm approaches Florida, possibly making landfall Monday along the east coast.
Moreover, Vilja’s tenure as Blue Origin boss said that several engines development programs had been “progressed upon” during his time with Blue Engines.
The departing Blue Origin executive also created a team to support the rocket engine program, which included some of the most talented people in the world.
Blue Origin BE-4 Rocket Engines
ArsTechnica sources stated in the same report, that the departure from Blue Engine’s lead engineer is due to the final production of the BE-4 rocket engines.
The BE-4 flight engine is nearing completion of its delivery to the testing site. This will allow for it to be tested in real-life flying.
ArsTechnica was told by a spokesperson for the company that the departure of Blue Engines’ lead engineer does not impact the production of the BE-4 engines.
Read also: Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Lead Engineer Leaves Company to Support Elon Musk’s SpaceX
Blue Origin finds Pete Davidson Replacement
According to a CNN report, Bezos’ Space firm has found a replacement for Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson who was originally supposed to fly into space.
Davidson, along with five other customers paying for space tourism, is expected to fly in the New Shepard rocket from Blue Origin.
Blue Origin did however announce a delay to the flight and also announced that Davidson would not be participating in the upcoming space tourism trip.
Gary Lai, chief architect of Blue Origin’s suborbital rocket, will replace the SNL star.