Blue Origin, the commercial rocket company founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, will break ground in Alabama Friday on a promised plant to produce its new, next-generation rocket engine.
The plant to be located in Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park will manufacture Blue Origin’s BE-4 engine, which will power the next generation of rockets produced by United Launch Alliance in nearby Decatur. The engine, powered by liquid oxygen and liquefied natural gas, will end America’s reliance on a Russian engine for launching satellites.
Blue Origin said in 2017 that it would locate in Alabama near the Decatur ULA plant if it won the contract.
It will also lift Blue Origin’s next-generation New Glenn rocket into space. That big rocket is now under development.
The plant will have about 340 employees and cost $200 million to construct, the company said when making the original announcement. The rocket itself will be assembled in Florida near the Cape Kennedy launch site.