A rendition of the New Glenn rocket from Blue Origin, which is still in development.
Just south of the massive Blue Origin campus at the Kennedy Space Center, an empty parcel of land will soon be transformed into a sprawling, technologically advanced, existing aerospace rocket manufacturing facility.
Named "South Campus" in the district water management documents obtained by FLORIDA TODAY, the 90-acre expansion will be connected to the Exploration Park plant, a region accessible to the public at the west of the main gate of KSC. The two-lane Space Commerce Way traverses the region, connecting other actors such as the OneWeb satellite company, the Space Florida economic development agency and the main entrance to the space center visitor complex. Kennedy.
The South Campus will be almost twice as large as Blue Origin already rents out to NASA, which will allow the company headed by Jeff Bezos to establish "complementary programs to those built on the adjacent North Campus", according to the documents. . Blue will manufacture variants of New Glenn rockets 270 and 300 meters high in the gigantic blue and white campus of the North Campus, which will not be commercialized until 2020.
"The facilities will be used to manufacture and supply commercial space launchers," reads in the St. Johns River Water Management District. "The proposed development for Phase 1 should include the development of the site for the construction of the building (warehouse) and the preparation of the site for subsequent construction."
Construction is expected to begin in July with the conclusion of the final phase – the Expandable Warehouse – in March 2020.
The Blue Origin media team did not respond to a request for field information, which the company has leased directly to NASA for 50 years. The total amount of payments over this period will be $ 20.3 million, in accordance with the last lease agreement signed in December, which was also obtained by FLORIDA TODAY.
Building a complex and finding a need for additional capacity is not uncommon in the spaceflight industry.
"As they get closer to what they earn in life, they realize that it will be a little bigger and will need a little more." "That's what they planned," said Dale Ketcham, head of Space Florida's strategic alliances, the state's aerospace economic development agency. "But it's not unique for them or for the space industry."
The 89.53 acre site will also include:
- A warehouse that could be expanded in the future
- Routes for transporting rockets New Glenn
- Roads and car parks for trucks and small vehicles
- Landscaping and Lighting Improvements
About 10 miles from these facilities, Blue Origin also accelerates the work of Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 36, leased to the Air Force. The new Glenn rockets will eventually be transported from KSC campuses to the LC-36 for take-off, but control of mission launch will be provided from the top floor of the New Glenn factory.
The private rocket company founded in Kent, Washington, in 2000, is funded by Amazon's founder, Jeff Bezos, the richest in the world. Its technology is not limited to its own missions, however, as Boeing's United Launch Alliance joint venture with Lockheed Martin will use Blue's BE-4 engines for its next Vulcan rocket series.
Blue and Bezos' vision for the future includes millions of people who work and live in space. The hope is to tap into the far-flung resources of the solar system, allowing the Earth to remain preserved for future generations.
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