We’re building two new test cells. The first is a high-pressure cell that lets us run short-duration, full-scale isolated preburner tests. We’ll use this cell to refine the ignition sequence and understand the start transients. The second is another full engine test cell. Having two full engine test positions will allow us to further increase the testing pace.
One of the many benefits of a privately funded engine development is that we can make and implement decisions quickly. Building these two new test cells is a $10 million commitment, and we as a team made the decision to move forward in 10 minutes. Less than three weeks later we were pouring the needed three-foot thick foundations. Private funding and rapid decision making are two of the reasons why the BE-4 is the fastest path to eliminate U.S. dependence on the Russian-made RD-180.