Blue Origin Begins Construction on $200 Million Rocket Assembly Plant in Huntsville, Alabama
The facility will be built on 46 acres at the corner of Explorer Boulevard and Pegasus Drive in Cummings Research Park, and expected to create more than 300 jobs. The Huntsville manufacturing plant is expected to open in 2020, and the first flight test of the new engine is expected in 2021.
“It’s a great day here in Rocket City,” said Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin. “Thanks to the votes of confidence from United Launch Alliance, from the Air Force for national security missions, and from Huntsville and the state of Alabama, we are breaking ground on a facility to produce our world-class engines and power the next generation of spaceflight.”
“Blue Origin is a welcome addition to Alabama’s roster of world-class aerospace firms and its new rocket engine facility in Huntsville will expand the state’s already robust capabilities in space flight,” Governor Kay Ivey said. “Blue Origin is making a significant investment in Huntsville, and I’m certain the company will discover the many benefits of doing business in Sweet Home Alabama’s aerospace cluster.”
The BE-4 is made for both commercial and government missions. The BE-4 uses oxygen-rich staged combustion of liquid oxygen and liquefied natural gas to produce 550,000 pounds of thrust. The BE-4 is currently undergoing full-scale engine development testing in company facilities in Van Horn, Texas. Blue Origin also plans to produce a variant of its BE-3 rocket engine at the Huntsville facility. The company is in discussions with NASA to test the engines on the historic test stands at Marshall Space Flight Center.
“I am pleased that Blue Origin has chosen to join the more than 200 ULA suppliers doing business here in Alabama,” ULA CEO Tory Bruno said. “The state of Alabama knows how to attract and help business grow and I could not be more thrilled to be part of the resurgence of rocket and engine development in the Tennessee Valley.”
“Blue Origin selected the perfect home for this new rocket engine manufacturing because Huntsville has been a center of innovation in rocket propulsion for decades,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“I look forward to seeing the lofty heights the partnership between this dynamic space flight company and Alabama’s historic Rocket City can reach in the future,” he added.
Beam Therapeutics Selects Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, for Research and Production Campus
2019 Leading Metro Locations: Pacific and South-Atlantic Metros Dominate the List
Site Selection 2020: The Importance of “Regional Depth” with Global Reach
How are Uncertain Times Altering Company Location Strategies?
2019 Top States for Doing Business: Georgia Ranks #1 Sixth Year in a Row
A Heightened Focus on Reshoring
34th Annual Corporate Survey & the 16th Annual Consultants Survey