Blue Origin clearing land for Florida rocket factory

Blue Origin test flight in west Texas
Blue Origin test flight in west Texas

Blue Origin, the space flight company started Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of, has started clearing land at the Kennedy Space Center in Brevard County for a rocket manufacturing plant.

The 475,000-square-foot plant, expected to open by early 2018, will be eight stories tall and longer than two football fields.

Blue Origin, based near Seattle, expects to invest more than $200 million in the rocket manufacturing plant and to employ more than 300 workers there.

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The company plans to lower the cost of space flight by manufacturing reusable rockets on a 139-acre site in a section of the Kennedy Space Center called Exploration Park.

Blue Origin has been testing a suborbital space vehicle called New Shephard, a booster and capsule that the company has launched and landed three times at its private facility in west Texas. The company expects to conduct its fourth test flight of New Shephard this month. [Florida Today] — Mike Seemuth