WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Blue Origin Picks Alabama For Rocket Engine Plant

BE-4 engines at Blue Origin's manufacturing facility. Photo: Blue Origin

Stay up to date on coronavirus coverage: Listen to WMFE on your radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” or “WMFE” and you’ll be connected.

Blue Origin says it’s picked Alabama over Florida for its new rocket engine facility. Alabama officials say this will bring 342 jobs and about $200 million in capital investing.

Florida was in the running to host the manufacturing plant but Blue Origin went with Hunstville, Alabama instead.

“Alabama is a great state for aerospace manufacturing and we are proud to produce America’s next rocket engine right here in Rocket City,” said Robert Meyerson, President of Blue Origin. “The area’s skilled workforce and leading role in rocket propulsion development make Huntsville the ideal location for our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.”

Huntsville is known for rocket propulsion — hosting NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and commercial rocket engine manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne. “When you look at NASA’s visionary work at the Marshall Space Flight Center, the talent and capacity of Huntsville’s space industry partners, and our expertise in research and development, engineering, and manufacturing, Blue Origin is joining a truly remarkable environment,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.

The facility will manufacture Blue Origin’s BE-4 engines. The company plans to use the engines on it’s orbital rocket New Glenn. Blue Origin is also securing a contract to supply the engines to another private space company, United Launch Alliance, to launch it’s next-generation Vulcan rocket.

Back in 2015, Blue Origins CEO Jeff Bezos announced plans to build and launch New Glenn from Florida’s Space Coast. The company is building a massive manufacturing facility just south of Kennedy Space Center and plans to launch the rocket from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 36 by 2020.


Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida COVID-19 news, updates on special programs and more. Support our extended coverage.

GET THE LATEST

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. He also helps produce WMFE's public affairs show "Intersection," working with host ... Read Full Bio »

TOP