Blue Origin officially opens Alabama rocket engine factory
Blue Origin's 350,000-square-foot facility, located in Cummings Research Park, will employ more than 300 people. Smith said around 200 jobs should be created over the next year.
The Kent, Washington-based company announced its $200 million investment in June 2017, with construction beginning in Huntsville a little over a year ago.
On Monday, we open our high rate rocket engine production facility in Huntsville, AL. In anticipation of that, we wanted to show a little love for our #BE4 engine progress. https://t.co/YojnGQG0O4 pic.twitter.com/Iz4DAzjqCn
- Blue Origin (@blueorigin) February 14, 2020
'MADE IN ALABAMA'
Hanging above the Blue Origin factory floor on Monday were an American flag and a Made in Alabama banner.
Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said today's grand-opening ceremony stems from talks with the company that began in 2016.
"Blue Origin's decision to locate its BE-4 engine manufacturing center in Huntsville reflects the deep and longstanding capabilities in the city that became the cradle of the nation's rocket program," Secretary Canfield said. "Huntsville is a hub of innovation in every facet of aerospace, making it the perfect home for this Blue Origin facility."
Using the latest design and manufacturing techniques, 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.
Development of the BE-4 began in 2011. Blue Origin expects to deliver the first two production BE-4 engines this year for static hot-fire tests after integration with ULA's Vulcan.
Blue Origin is also expected to produce a variant of its BE-3 upper stage engine at the Alabama facility.
"Our facility will be home to the next generation of rocket engines, as well as the next generation of engine builders," the company Tweeted.
Looking at the floor of Blue Origin's new plant in Huntsville. The company will be building and testing rocket engines in Alabama soon, y'all. @blueorigin @NASA_Marshall pic.twitter.com/8ZpyUAF261
- lee roop (@leeroop) February 17, 2020
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