Work is progressing on the facility in Florida where Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture plans to build its orbital spaceships.
Bezos called attention to the groundbreaking milestone for the 750,000-square-foot rocket factory in June. Today, Space Florida, the state development agency that’s leasing the property and Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 36 to Blue Origin, tweeted that concrete is being poured for the campus’ first building.
The $200 million manufacturing and launch facility at Kennedy Space Center’s Exploration Park is expected to open by early 2018 and employ about 300 people.
That’s in addition to the folks who work at Blue Origin’s headquarters and production facility in Kent, Wash., and at its suborbital launch complex in West Texas. The company says it has about 700 employees today.
Blue Origin is currently focusing on its suborbital space effort. So far it’s conducted four fully successful uncrewed tests of its reusable, hydrogen-fueled New Shepard spaceship, which is built in Kent and flown in Texas.