Blue Origin to launch from Florida? Maybe – maybe not
The Manufacturer has noted Blue Origin might build a $220 million launch facility in Florida. Meanwhile, the Daytona Beach Journal has stated Brevard County, the location of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, has offered $8 million in incentives under a tentative agreement made by the Brevard County commissioners in hopes Blue Origin will tap the Sunshine State as the launch site for New Shepard – the company’s commercially-produced spacecraft. However, will Blue Origin come to Florida?
This push could see Volusia County’s efforts to have the company launch from across the northern border of Brevard – crushed. While the president of CEO Business Alliance, a private group helping to attract economic development to Volusia, is still hoping to land the NewSpace firm.
Despite the fact that Brevard County has provided a catchy “call sign” for its effort, Project Panther, it still might not achieve the goal of expanding the county’s extensive space flight history, however.
Representatives with Blue Origin have noted that while Florida might be the potential launch site, it has not decided which state it will be launching from just yet.
“We are evaluating potential locations for an orbital launch site and can confirm that Florida is one of the states we are considering,” said Jessica Pieczonka, Blue Origin’s head of communications.
Video courtesy of Blue Origin
Blue Origin’s New Shepard conducted its first suborbital developmental test flight on April 29, 2015, with the craft rising to an altitude of 307,000 feet (93,500 meters) – achieving a top speed of Mach 3. This, however, was just one in a growing number of achievements that the company has accomplished since being founded in September 2000 by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos.
Among its various efforts is one which could see a spacecraft, developed by Blue Origin, ferry space tourists to and from suborbital space. This, however, is not the full story.
The firm has also gained the confidence of established aerospace firm United Launch Alliance with the Colorado-based company selecting Blue Origin’s BE-4 rocket engine for use on ULA’s new Next Generation Launch System “Vulcan” rocket.
Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.