Online stuff-hurling biz lord Jeff Bezos is to move into ORBITAL deliveries, it has been announced, setting up a mighty space podule-plex in a disused NASA facility on Florida's Cape Canaveral.
Florida governor Rick Scott stood side by side with the Amazon bigcheese at the project's unveiling earlier today. In addition to space launch, Blue Origin will set up a pocket rocket factory in Florida to build a fleet of reusable orbiters.
Florida has been aggressively wooing Bezos and his megabucks, offering the Amazon founder cash incentives to set up shop within the Sunshine State.
The launches will lift off from Cape Canaveral's Complex 36, a launching pad that has been unused since 2005, but during the space race served as one of the launch points for the Pioneer, Mariner, and Surveyor operations.
Bezos cited the historical significance of Cape Canaveral in picking the site for Blue Origin's future launches. The first flights are set to take off from the site "within the decade," and in the meantime Blue Origin plans to use the site to test the BE-4 rocket engine for a partnership inked last year with the United Launch Alliance.
"Cape Canaveral has long been a gateway to humankind's greatest adventures," Bezos said in announcing the move. "As a kid, I was inspired by the giant Saturn V missions that roared to life from these shores."
The Florida expansion will be the third facility for Blue Origin, joining a manufacturing plant in Washington state and a private launch facility in West Texas. Blue Origin did not say whether the new plant in Florida will have any impact on either of those operations.
In moving to the cape, Blue Origin will become neighbors with perhaps its biggest competition in the commercial spaceflight field. Elon Musk's SpaceX currently uses a launch facility in Cape Canaveral as its departure point for (attempted) missions to the International Space Station. ®