Enlarge / Sen. Richard Shelby, right, welcomes Blue Origin President Rob Meyerson to Huntsville, Alabama, this week. (credit: Huntsville/Madison County Chamber)
This week the governor of Alabama announced that Blue Origin would build a factory in Huntsville, Alabama, for its new BE-4 rocket engine. “I must commend founder Jeff Bezos and company President Robert Meyerson for their vision to create this innovative company, and for choosing to make Alabama its home sweet home,” said Gov. Kay Ivey.
The decision has been widely hailed as largely a political one—Alabama has considerable influence in the US Congress over space policy, and, with its decision to build there, Blue Origin was aligning part of its future with the southern state—but that does not appear to be the sole rationale. Rather, a closer examination of the Alabama choice reveals that Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, whose business acumen pushed Amazon to the top, has brought the same shrewdness to the aerospace industry. He is playing to win.
A year-long process
The BE-4 rocket engine is the cornerstone of Blue Origin’s future as an orbital and deep-space rocket company.

About 30 percent more powerful than the space shuttle’s main engine, seven of the BE-4 engines will power the company’s large New Glenn orbital rocket.
It also is the front-runner to be selected by United Launch Alliance for its next-generation rocket, Vulcan.
In other words, if the BE-4 engines work out, Blue Origin will need to build a lot of them.
Read 8 remaining paragraphs

Leave a Reply