Blue Origin's big plans for Space Coast

Blue Origin, founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, wants to be the biggest player on Space Coast.   

The aerospace company is making a vehicle called the New Glenn Rocket, which could be an integral part of the burgeoning space tourism industry, sending people into space possibly as early ar 2021.

Here’s why industry insiders say this is so exciting. Blue Origin says it will build and launch from here.

“That is groundbreaking because the [space] shuttle, Mercury, Gemini, even the Apollo capsules were all built somewhere else,” said Mike Lombardo, a guide and expert at the American Space Museum.

Lombardo worked on the shuttle program, in spacelabs and payloads. Lombardo said Blue Origin is positioning itself to be the juggernaut of Space Coast.

Everything about New Glenn will be home-grown in Brevard County, including the factory and the control center. Blue Origin has hired 600 workers to renovate Launch Complex 36. The New Glenn Rocket could be a key vehicle in building a new space station.

Right now, the ISS is slated to operate until 2030. Meantime, NASA wants to build what the space agency is calling "Gateway," a station that will orbit the moon. 

Blue Origin will be in a prime location and is already courting NASA to get involved. Lombardo said Blue Origin’s CEO Jeff Bezos has the vision and the money to take man into space on a much more regular basis in the years ahead.

“Once you get to there, there’s no limit to what the human mind can think of, and where we can go, the station, the moon, mars, the solar system. I think it’s a wonderful thing and we’re just stepping into the beginning...again,” Lombardo said.