New Huntsville facility to help in manufacturing rocket engines for Blue Origin

Huntsville is now home to the Blue Origin's newest engine production facility.

Posted: Feb 17, 2020 5:30 PM

After years of back and forth, Huntsville is now the home to Blue Origin's newest engine production facility.

State and local leaders were in the Rocket City on Monday for the opening of the $200 million project!

"It's not everyday a brand new rocket factory gets open. And that happens once in a generation," says John Vilja, the senior vice president of Blue Origin.

Blue Origin is now officially in Huntsville - where it will handle the development of the BE-4 and BE3-U engines, that run on liquid natural gas.

They hope to fill the facility with 300 people by 2023.

"We'll be able to test both of the engines that's we'll build here. So we'll be able to build them, test them, and get them ready for flight right here in Huntsville," says Vilja.

But it wasn't always a done deal. In 2017, Blue Origin said it would build a Huntsville facility, only if it won a United Launch Alliance contract to build the engine for ULA's new vulcan rocket. It won that contract in September 2018.

Blue Origin invested $200 million into the facility, and Alabama put up $20 million in incentives.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle says he's proud of the partnership.

"We're gonna take ourselves back to places such as the moon, Mars, way back into space and we're going to be able to make things that go right here in Huntsville, Alabama," says Battle.

"Huntsville has a really nice base of people who are experienced with rocket engines. It's the Rocket City and we were able to find really great employees here," says Vilja.

Of the $20- million in incentives, $6 million of that came from the city of Huntsville and Madison County.

$1 million went to the company to offset construction costs. The rest involves the land in Research Park where the facility was built.

It was valued between $4 million and $5 million.

Blue Origin also founded the nonprofit, Club for the Future. The program inspires youth to pursue careers in STEM and space.

"I've always been intersted in it and it's really amazing to start this at such a young age. It's really cool," says 14-year-old Evelyn Torteson, who is a member of the club.

Click to Submit Photo

 

 

Huntsville
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 64°
Florence
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 66°
Fayetteville
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 64°
Decatur
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 64°
Scottsboro
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 61°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 154942

Reported Deaths: 2660
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22720374
Mobile14405314
Tuscaloosa10066137
Montgomery9820196
Madison907894
Shelby715361
Lee646165
Baldwin644369
Marshall431048
Calhoun416059
Etowah412249
Morgan400033
Houston365532
DeKalb325428
Elmore312852
St. Clair283842
Limestone273630
Walker269993
Talladega259135
Cullman231024
Lauderdale212540
Jackson205515
Autauga202130
Franklin201731
Colbert193330
Russell19053
Blount187325
Dallas186027
Chilton182632
Escambia171428
Coffee16829
Covington166629
Dale163851
Chambers133043
Pike131313
Tallapoosa129587
Clarke127317
Marion105029
Butler99840
Barbour9969
Marengo98222
Winston90613
Geneva8447
Lawrence81131
Pickens81117
Randolph80514
Bibb80114
Hale74830
Cherokee72314
Clay72212
Lowndes70228
Henry6386
Bullock63717
Monroe63610
Washington62312
Crenshaw59830
Perry5816
Wilcox55912
Fayette55713
Conecuh55613
Cleburne5327
Macon53020
Sumter46821
Lamar4595
Choctaw38712
Greene34016
Coosa1993
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 235861

Reported Deaths: 2970
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby34739553
Davidson30155328
Knox1208187
Hamilton11289104
Rutherford11165107
Williamson670751
Sumner5715107
Wilson445553
Putnam423054
Montgomery393351
Out of TN376135
Unassigned37554
Madison366579
Bradley344722
Sullivan332146
Sevier322421
Washington318244
Blount317032
Maury311236
Robertson251040
Hamblen236543
Tipton223522
Gibson207838
Dyer207126
Hardeman180432
Coffee178320
Trousdale17447
Obion166420
Bedford160620
Anderson159613
Fayette159622
Dickson159119
Greene157551
Wayne15697
Loudon156610
McMinn154232
Cumberland153624
Lawrence150518
Jefferson148320
Weakley145325
Carter143932
Monroe138227
Henderson137325
Warren136810
Lauderdale134517
Hardin133619
Macon126924
Franklin123416
Roane12247
Haywood120026
Overton115211
White112214
Hawkins111724
Johnson11157
Carroll110724
McNairy109626
Marshall10638
Rhea105916
Bledsoe9944
Cheatham98211
Lake9763
Smith95412
Cocke95212
Giles91134
Campbell8997
Fentress8698
Lincoln8302
Crockett80221
Henry75310
Hickman74513
Chester71514
Marion7159
DeKalb68616
Decatur64511
Grainger5464
Grundy52510
Union5142
Claiborne5066
Polk47613
Jackson4225
Humphreys4194
Morgan4167
Benton3969
Houston39215
Cannon3902
Clay37913
Unicoi3732
Lewis3582
Scott3444
Sequatchie3304
Stewart3128
Meigs2975
Perry2531
Pickett2505
Moore2492
Van Buren1951
Hancock1123

Community Events