Joining a long history of space innovation and exploration, Blue Origin’s arrival brings jobs and investment capital to Cape Canaveral, Florida. The space industry continues to evolve as private-sector pacesetters’ involvement grows. For Florida, Blue Origin’s engagement will help Florida remain the leader in the aerospace and aviation industry.
The latest investment with Blue Origin’s selection of Brevard County for its newest venture. Cape Canaveral has been chosen as the site for the launch, manufacture, and support facility for Blue Origin’s OLV (Orbital Launch Vehicle Program, through the ongoing initiative of Enterprise Florida, Inc. A partnership between government leaders and Florida Businesses, Enterprise Florida acts to expand economic development though the state through job creation. Also, instrumental in bringing Blue Origin to Florida were the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Space Florida, Brevard County, North Brevard Economic Development Zone, CareerSource Florida, Space Coast EDC, and Florida Power and Light.
The Blue Origin Project will create more than 300 jobs with a capital investment of $200 million over five years. Blue Origin has chosen Launch Complex 11 and Launch Complex 36 at the Cape Canaveral Air Station as its launch site with the new OLV facility development nearby. A historic site, Launch Complex 36 in its many years of service has seen 145 launches including Mariner, Pioneer, Surveyor, and Atlas under the direction of the government. After a 10-year hiatus, Complex 36 is again scheduled to launch Blue Origin’s New Glenn vehicle by 2020. Launch Complex 11, while lesser known, served as the launch complex for Atlas missiles in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It is the southmost of the launch pads which came to be known as missile row.
The launch complexes will be renovated and updated with demolition, followed by construction phases, to create the foundation required to test engines, assimilate and launch orbital vehicles, as well as the development of support systems needed to recover and repair launch vehicles. Groundbreaking on the manufacturing facility, a 750,000-square foot complex, with a $205 million investment is scheduled for completion in December 2017. The complex, located behind the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will manufacture two types of New Glenn rockets, towering at 270 feet and 313 feet, respectively. Launches will be controlled from the complex, nearly 10 miles from the launch pads.
Blue Origin, established by Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, is listed as a privately funded aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight company headquartered in Kent, Washington. The company’s primary mission is the development of innovative technologies and vehicles with the goal of commercial human space travel with the long-term vision of creating opportunities for people to go into space.
The company’s motto is Gradatim Ferociter which, translated from Latin, means “Step by Step, Ferociously.” It is the motto by which Blue Origin operates, building on each prior step toward the next step forward. The company’s name also speaks to its end goal, naming the blue planet, Earth, as the point of origin for future space flights. In addition, to transporting human travelers, the OLVs will allow for satellite and research payloads as well.
Because Florida has long been a leader in aerospace technology, Blue Origin will find an exceptional talent pool locally. Excitement is building as the partnership between Blue Origin and the state of Florida seems to be aligned with the stars – Florida seeking to bring prosperity to the area as well as being the world’s space exploration capital, and Blue Origin goal to overcome the current limitations of space travel.