New Year, new headquarters for Blue Origin
The opening occurred almost exactly one year from a groundbreaking ceremony held at the site in January 2019.
In attendance were Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith, Blue Origin COO Terry Benedict, US Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA10), US Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA9), US Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA6), WA State Senator Lisa Wellman (D-41), WA State Representative Tina Orwell (D-33), WA State Representative J.T. Wilcox (R-2), and Kent Mayor Dana Ralph.
Smith noted the new O’Neill Building is named after physicist Gerard O’Neill, who dreamed of millions of people living and working in space to benefit the Earth.
“Gerard O’Neill was one of the visionaries who thought about how we go out into space in a quick and sustainable way, so that we can preserve our planet,” he noted.
“2019 was a great year of progress and preparation for us, and 2020 is going to be even more remarkable–so we’re growing quickly. We grew by a third last year, and we’re going to continue to grow at a rapid pace.”
Blue Origin‘s new headquarters sits on a 30-acre site, of which 13 acres will be dedicated to environmental goals, including a wildlife habitat and protection methods to keep out invasive species. The building itself was constructed to be sustainable, with strong insulation to reduce its total energy consumption.
Smith emphasized Blue Origin‘s goals as flying people into space, designing and constructing an orbital rocket, and returning to the Moon. Work toward those goals will be done at the new Kent headquarters.
Laurel Kornfeld is an amateur astronomer and freelance writer from Highland Park, NJ, who enjoys writing about astronomy and planetary science. She studied journalism at Douglass College, Rutgers University, and earned a Graduate Certificate of Science from Swinburne University’s Astronomy Online program. Her writings have been published online in The Atlantic, Astronomy magazine’s guest blog section, the UK Space Conference, the 2009 IAU General Assembly newspaper, The Space Reporter, and newsletters of various astronomy clubs. She is a member of the Cranford, NJ-based Amateur Astronomers, Inc. Especially interested in the outer solar system, Laurel gave a brief presentation at the 2008 Great Planet Debate held at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, MD.