Blue Origin is on the verge of breaking ground with a brand new factory that will produce rocket engines. According to company statements, their BE-4 engine is in the process of development and is aiming at completion towards the second half of this year.
January 25th saw the organization hold a path-breaking ceremony in the city of Huntsville, Alabama. It marked the beginning of the construction of factory premises to be used in the process of constructing BE-4 engines. The company’s plans to construct the factory in that location was announced back in the month of June 2017, depending upon the engine being selected for the Vulcan rocket by the United Launch Alliance. The same happened during September 2018.
The factory is slated to be completed by March 2020. Its aim is to construct several BE-4 engines each year. These rockets will be manufactured for use by Vulcan along with New Glenn, the latter being Blue Origin’s initiative. Both these rockets are slated to make their debut in 2021. Vulcan is likely to use 2 BE-4 engines during its initial stage. On the other hand, the first stage of New Glenn is set to be provided power by 7 BE-4 engines.
According to the CEO of Blue Origin, Bob Smith, the production facility of the engine has demonstrated their commitment towards Alabama. He made the comment while speaking at the event held in Huntsville, which a local TV station webcasted. He also elucidated on the discussions about the factory being located in Huntsville and said that they had taken place over a few years, after which the final selection has been made by the company in 2017. The facility is expected to add north of 300 jobs in the market. The initiative sees a whopping company investment of above $200 million.