Courtesy Blue Origin via Griffin Communications
Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos on Tuesday announced that the company will be flying its orbital launch vehicle from Florida.
The following is the text for Mr. Bezosâ€™ announcement:
“Cape Canaveral has long been a gateway to humankindâ€™s greatest adventures. As a kid, I was inspired by the giant Saturn V missions that roared to life from these shores. Now we are thrilled to be coming to the Sunshine State for a new era of exploration.
Our new home on the Space Coast is anchored by the launch site at Complex 36. During its 43 years of service, 145 launches thundered into space from this site.
The Mariner missions â€“ the first U.S. spacecraft to visit other planets â€“ lifted off from Complex 36. So did Pioneer 10, the first spacecraft to travel through the asteroid belt; Surveyor 1, the first U.S. spacecraft to land softly on the Moon; and multiple weather, communications and national defense payloads hopped their rides to space from LC-36.
The site saw its last launch in 2005 and the pad has stood silent for more than 10 years â€“ too long. We canâ€™t wait to fix that.
One of the unique things about our Florida operations is that we arenâ€™t just launching here, weâ€™re building here. At Exploration Park, weâ€™ll have a 21st century production facility where weâ€™ll focus on manufacturing our reusable fleet of orbital launchers and readying them for flight again and again. Locating vehicle assembly near our launch site eases the challenge of processing and transporting really big rockets.
Weâ€™ll be launching from here later this decade. You will hear us before you see us. Our American-made BE-4 engine â€“ the power behind our orbital launch vehicle â€“ will be acceptance tested here. Our BE-4 engine will also help make history as it powers the first flight of United Launch Allianceâ€™s Vulcan rocket.
Residents of the Space Coast have enjoyed front-row seats to the future for nearly 60 years. Our teamâ€™s passion for pioneering is the perfect fit for a community dedicated to forging new frontiers. Keep watching.
Responding to a question posed by The Van Horn Advocate regarding what impact, if any, the Florida site would have on West Texas operations, the company issued this statement:
“Todayâ€™s announcement was about plans for orbital launch operations from Cape Canaveral, Fla. that will include a 21st century production facility focused on manufacturing a reusable fleet, vehicle assembly and processing, and launch operations. Blue Originâ€™s suborbital vehicle, New Shepard, will continue to fly from West Texas and company headquarters will remain in Washington state.â€