American aerospace manufacturer Blue Origin LLC has reportedly broke ground on a new engine production and assembly facility of the company in Huntsville, Alabama. The new factory would apparently be located around 25 miles from the Decatur assembly facility of United Launch Alliance (ULA).
Further from the reports, Blue Origin and ULA had established a partnership in September of 2018, which was meant to assist the joint-funding of an engine compatible with Vulcan rocket of ULA currently under development. Steady progress has seemingly been made since that agreement, with the recent ceremony showcasing the latest milestone in that progression.
The two BE-4 engines, developed by Blue Origin, are apparently designed for providing the main source of thrust for Vulcan rocket. The new engines are also being produced for serving the New Glenn launch vehicle of Blue Origin, as well as on other future ULA launch vehicles.
Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin, mentioned that ULA had selected its BE-4 engine for powering the Vulcan rocket last September. Besides, in a Launch Services Agreement contract, both Vulcan and New Glenn launch vehicle were selected by the United States Air Force in October, he stated. Smith said that now, two among the three major launch systems that fly national security space missions would be powered by engines produced in the company’s Huntsville facility.
President and CEO of ULA, Tory Bruno, stated that the company had previously chosen the BE-4 engine of Blue Origin for powering its Vulcan Centaur rocket, which is being manufactured at the facility of ULA at Decatur, Alabama.
Bruno further said that Blue Origin has now joined over 200 suppliers of ULA that are in business in Alabama. The company looks forward to this partnership with Blue Origin, developing the advanced BE-4 engine for powering its next-generation rockets.