HUNTSVILLE, AL—Aerospace manufacturer Blue Origin LLC has officially started construction on a factory here that will produce the BE-4 engines to power both the New Glenn and United Launch Alliance's (ULA) Vulcan Centaur rockets. The facility will also make the BE-3U engines used for New Glenn's second stage. Both rockets are expected to launch in 2021.
Blue Origin is also working on a deal to take over a building at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. The building was previously used to test Saturn V and Space Shuttle engines. Blue Origin would use it for acceptance testing with both the BE-4 and BE-3U.
The company signaled plans to build the Huntsville factory in June 2017, but that hinged on ULA choosing the BE-4 for its rocket. It made that decision in September 2018, clearing the way for its newly confirmed partner.
Blue Origin is an American privately funded aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight services company headquartered in Kent, WA.