Kent-based Blue Origin opened a rocket engine production plant this week in Huntsville, Alabama.
The world-class engine manufacturing facility in The Rocket City will conduct high rate production of the BE-4 and BE-3U engines, according to Blue Origin. These engines will undergo testing at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville on the historic Test Stand 4670. BE-7, the company’s lunar landing engine, is also currently in test at NASA Marshall.
“At the core of every successful launch vehicle program are the engines that power those vehicles to space,” said Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith in a statement. “Early on in Blue Origin’s history, we made a crucial decision to invest in developing the next generation of reusable rocket engines. And now, it’s an exciting time for Blue, our partners and this country –we are on the path to deliver on our promise to end the reliance on Russian made engines – and it’s all happening right here, right now, in the great state of Alabama. We couldn’t be prouder to call this our home for engine production.”
Blue Origin, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, will add more than 300 jobs to the local economy with an investment of over $200 million in the facility.
In January, Blue Origin opened its new headquarters and research and development facility in Kent. The company plans to one day carry people into space, where people will live and work. Blue Origin also plans to help get astronauts back on the moon in 2024.