The United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) plan to field a new rocket engine with startup Blue Origin called the BE-4 is only one step of a larger strategic plan to take the company from a sole-source monopoly mentality to competing in a burgeoning commercial market. With that plan, ULA’s current launchers—the Atlas V (developed originally by Lockheed Martin) and Delta IV (originally developed by Boeing)—will likely be supplanted by a new, yet-to-be-named rocket design within ...

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