Blue Origin employees inside the company’s Kent headquarters. COURTESY PHOTO, Blue Origin

Blue Origin employees inside the company’s Kent headquarters. COURTESY PHOTO, Blue Origin

Kent’s Blue Origin celebrates 19th year

Company opened headquarters in Kent in 2000

  • Wednesday, September 11, 2019 11:49am
  • Business

Kent-based Blue Origin is celebrating its 19th year.

The aerospace company, which envisions a future where millions of people live and work in space, opened Sept. 9, 2000 in Kent.

Owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin expects to complete by the end of the year a 236,000-square-foot headquarters, research and development facility on 31 acres along 76th Avenue South between South 212th Street and South 228th Street. The current facility covers about 260,000 square feet on 26 acres at 21218 76th Ave. S.

The new facility is going up on 31 acres Blue Origin bought from the Barnier family, which had farmed land in the Kent Valley for generations, for $14.1 million in 2017, according to King County property sales records.

A fan of Blue Origin who runs a Facebook page under the Blue Origin name, posted the following statement:

“It’s been long 19 years since Jeff Bezos founded the aerospace company Blue Origin. It’s been a roller-coaster ride there after. There have been some great moments and some low points.

Blue Origin was founded on Sept. 9, 2000 in Kent, and began developing both rocket propulsion systems and launch vehicles. Since the founding, the company was very secretive about its plans and emerged from its “self-imposed silence” only after 2015.

In 1999, after watching the rocketry biopic film October Sky, Bezos discussed with science-fiction author Neal Stephenson the idea of forming a space company.

Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 with the intention of developing a vertical take-off and landing vehicle, able to carry passengers.

In July 2013, the company employed approximately 250 people. In April 2019, Now blue has more than 2,000 employees, with plans to have more than 2,600 by the end of 2019.

Blue Origin’s first flight test vehicle, called Charon after Pluto’s moon, was powered by four vertically mounted Rolls-Royce Viper Mk. 301 jet engines rather than rockets. Charon made its only test flight at Moses Lake, Washington on 5 March 2005. It flew to an altitude of 96 m (316 ft) before returning for a controlled landing near the liftoff point.

And on 2 May 2019, New Shepard 3 tested eleventh flight overall, and fifth of NS3, including 38 payloads and Launched from West Texas facility.

Blue origin developed high performance engines capable of deep throttling for soft landings.

The BE- 3 is the first new liquid hydrogen-fueled rocket engine to be developed for production in America in over a decade.

BE-4- The first ox-rich staged combustion engine made in the U.S. will power the next generation of American orbital rockets.

BE-7- A highly efficient, deep-throttling engine with restart capability that can power in-space systems, including our Blue Moon lunar lander.

In May 2019, Bezos unveiled Blue Origin’s vision for space and also plans for a moon lander known as “Blue Moon”, set to be ready by 2024.

We are not in a race, and there will be many players in this human endeavor to go to space to benefit Earth. Blue’s part in this journey is building a road to space with our reusable launch vehicles, so our children can build the future. We will go about this step by step because it is an illusion that skipping steps gets us there faster. Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.

Happy Birthday Blue Origin. Kudos to the whole team.”

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with the correct source of the Facebook post.


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A look inside the Blue Origin headquarters in Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, Blue Origin

A look inside the Blue Origin headquarters in Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, Blue Origin

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos. COURTESY PHOTO, Blue Origin

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos. COURTESY PHOTO, Blue Origin

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