Blue Origin going to Huntsville for some rocket-testing.

I originally wrote ‘rocketeering,’ but that would have had the wrong connotations.

One of Huntsville’s historic Apollo engine test stands is coming back to life under an agreement between NASA and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space company.

NASA announced Wednesday it has signed an agreement to let Blue Origin use Marshall Test Stand 4670 to test its BE-3U and BE-4 rocket engines. The BE-4 has been selected to power United Launch Alliance’s new Vulcan rocket and Blue’s New Glenn rocket.

Via Instapundit.

Huntsville, where we keep the rocketmen; and [the rest of this sentence has been redacted in the interest of national security]. There are three seasons in Alabama: hot and rainy, just hot, and just rainy. Just as happy to skip that, thanks.

Blue Origin opening a shop at Huntsville.

I forget where I saw this first, but: Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is setting up a shop at Rocket City. For those who don’t know, Huntsville Alabama is where a lot of our commercial rocket infrastructure ended up after World War 2.  The 23rd century is going to romanticize the heck out of the place in their popular fiction, but for right now it’s a place where serious work is being done. The goal here is avowedly to re-acquire an American alternative to Russian rocket engines; Blue Origin’s engines will be the ones ending up in ULA’s Vulcan rockets. And, of course: the more American manufacturing infrastructure in place here, the better.




Jeff Bezos lines up a customer for Blue Origin rocket company.

Satellite delivery:

…[Blue Origin] finally has its first paying customer as it ramps up to become a full-fledged business.

Mr. Bezos announced that customer, the satellite television provider Eutelsat, on Tuesday. In about five years, Eutelsat, which is based in Paris, will strap one of its satellites to a new Blue Origin rocket to be delivered to space, a process it has done dozens of times with other space partners.

Continue reading Jeff Bezos lines up a customer for Blue Origin rocket company.




Jeff Bezos and his reusable Blue Origin rocket.

This is a genuinely big deal:

It’s not quite a rocket ship that goes up under its own power, and back down under its own power, just as God and Bob Heinlein intended; but that’s coming along. Also: Jeff Bezos is now a strong contender to be named God-Emperor of the Geeks. But you knew that already.