Blue Origin Breaks Ground on World-class Engine Production Facility in Huntsville

Blue Origin celebrates the official groundbreaking of its engine production facility in Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park. Pictured left to right: Greg Canfield, Alabama Secretary of Commerce, Kim Lewis, Huntsville/Madison County Chamber 2019 Board Chair, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno, Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith, Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong, U.S. Senator Doug Jones, U.S. Congressman Mo Brooks, Bob Clark, CEO of ClayCo. (Credit: Jeff White/Jan. 25, 2019)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Huntsville/Madison County Chamber PR) – Blue Origin celebrated the official groundbreaking for its world-class rocket engine production facility on Friday in Huntsville.

The plant will be built on 46 acres at the corner of Explorer Boulevard and Pegasus Drive in Cummings Research Park. The project includes more than 300 new jobs.

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Blue Origin Breaks Ground on Huntsville Engine Factory

Blue Origin groundbreaking. Pictured left to right: Greg Canfield, Alabama Secretary of Commerce; Kim Lewis, Huntsville/Madison County Chamber 2019 Board Chair; Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle; Alabama Governor Kay Ivey; United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno; Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith; Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong; U.S. Senator Doug Jones; U.S. Congressman Mo Brooks; Clayco CEO Bob Clark. (Credit: Blue Origin)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., January 25, 2019 (Blue Origin PR) — Today we broke ground on the construction of a world-class rocket engine production facility in Huntsville, Alabama, extending the city’s rich legacy in liquid rocket engines.

Here are excerpts from today’s groundbreaking ceremony given by Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith:

It’s a great day here in Rocket City. Thanks to the votes of confidence from United Launch Alliance, from the Air Force for national security missions, and from Huntsville and the state of Alabama, we are breaking ground on a facility to produce our world-class engines and power the next generation of spaceflight.

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Alaska Aerospace Announces New Office Serving the Huntsville Market

alaska_aerospace_corpANCHORAGE, AK (AAC PR) – Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC), recognizing strong demand and aerospace industry growth in northeast Alabama, announces the opening of their new office in Huntsville, Alabama. This is the first permanent presence outside of Alaska for the company.

Craig E. Campbell, AAC President and CEO, states “Alaska Aerospace has supported a number of missions for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) and by opening an office in Huntsville, we will be well positioned to be more responsive to our customers’ future needs.”

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Surprise! Huntsville Joins the Commercial Space Race


Startled residents of Huntsville awoke yesterday (providing they slept in until at least 1:07 p.m. CST) to what probably sounded like an earthquake, sonic boom and a bazillion car alarms going off all at once. Their self-proclaimed New Federal City (named for its many thousands of government-supported jobs)  that had fought NewSpace tooth and nail found itself suddenly at the center of the biggest, boldest, baddest commercial space venture since….like EVER. We’re talking bolder than Branson, bigger than Bigelow, and maybe even badder than Bronson.*

Just how big? Try two 747s put together big. With six jumbo jet engines, a gross weight of 1.2 million pound, and a wingspan of more than 380 feet. And how super bad is the dream team behind it? Try Microsoft billionaire co-founder Paul Allen; aviation legend Burt Rutan and Scaled Composites; Elon Musk and SpaceX; and Huntsville’s own Dynetics.

The headquarters for this new Stratolaunch Systems venture? Huntsville, Alabama. NewSpace City.

Pretty epic, huh?

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SpaceX Sets Up Office in Huntsville

SpaceX's Falcon 9 on the pad at Cape Canaveral. (Credit: Chris Thompson/SpaceX)
SpaceX's Falcon 9 on the pad at Cape Canaveral. (Credit: Chris Thompson/SpaceX)

SpaceX opens office in Huntsville today to explore new business
The Huntsville Times

Huntsville, SpaceX has landed. The high-profile commercial space company led by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is opening an office today in Cummings Research Park. “Huntsville is the Rocket City,” spokeswoman Kirstin Brost said Wednesday night. “We want to be a part of it.” The company, which is vying for contracts to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station, isn’t trumpeting its arrival….SpaceX already does business with the Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command here.

Read the full story.

Shelby: I Can’t Quit You, Shuttle!

Sen. Richard Shelby

The Decatur Daily explains how the United Launch Alliance facility in Dacatur, Ala. got no love from Sen. Richard Shelby:

As U.S. senators carved up the leftovers of NASA’s Constellation program for their states, most of the meat went to Utah and Huntsville.

United Launch Alliance, with its assembly plant in Decatur, got the bone.

The ranking Republican member of the committee that wrote the budget authorization that would effectively exclude ULA from participating in the development of a heavy-lift rocket was Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa.

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Democratic Congressman Griffith Joins Republican Party

Congressman Parker Griffith speaks during a subcommittee hearing.

Congressman Parker Griffith – who represents Huntsville, Alabama – announced his decision to switch from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party today.

The conservative first-term Congressman had been increasingly at odds with the liberal Obama Administration and his fellow Democrats on health care, spending, defense and space. In his statement, he specifically referred to disagreements over NASA spending:

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Lunar Lander Test Bed Demonstrated in Huntsville

OPI PRESS RELEASE

Teledyne Brown Engineering (TBE) and Orion Propulsion, Inc. (OPI) successfully demonstrated the Lunar Lander Test Bed (LLTB) today, capping the delivery of this unique hardware to the Von Braun Center for Science and Innovation (VCSI). The LLTB was presented, complete with rocket engine firings, at the dedication of TBE’s Space Systems Manufacturing Center. The LLTB will be used to demonstrate and mature technologies required for future NASA robotic space exploration.

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