No go for Florida and go for Alabama, as far as Blue Origin, the spaceflight company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, when they announced on Monday it plans to open a rocket engine production facility in Alabama, ending Florida's hopes of winning the work.
The company selected Huntsville to build a 200,000-square-foot facility for manufacturing its BE-4 engines, bringing with it $200 million in investment and 342 new jobs, the Huntsville Madison County Chamber of Commerce said in a press release.
The engine will power Blue Origin's orbital New Glenn rocket and could be the primary propulsion for United Launch Alliance's Vulcan, both of which are still in development. The start of construction of the manufacturing facility in Huntsville, however, is dependent on ULA awarding the final contract.
Before selecting Alabama, Blue Origin was considering Florida among possible sites for BE-4 manufacturing. The company is building a 750,000-square-foot New Glenn rocket factory at Kennedy Space Center's Exploration Park on Merritt Island, which should be completed by early 2018.