MADISON COUNTY, Ala. -- The possibility of Blue Origin coming to Huntsville is getting closer to reality. The final decision is still contingent on United Launch Alliance choosing Blue Origin's engine for its Vulcan Rocket. On Wednesday, the Madison County Commission did its part to further the agreement.
Why should Blue Origin build their BE-4 engine in the Rocket City? The name says it all.
"You look at our aerospace and missile defense, we get it here. That's our workforce, and I think that was the biggest drawing card that has brought Blue Origin to us," said Chairman Dale Strong.
Chairman Strong said the Madison County Commission believes it's the perfect fit, so they're doing their part to get Blue Origin here.
"This commission voted to authorize that we do site preparation, and that we also contributed a half a million dollars towards this incentive package," he explained.
Strong said for the types of jobs Blue Origin brings, the return on investment will be much more than what they're paying. He is confident in the decision, and said this is what Madison County is all about.
"We created propulsion for Apollo, Saturn, for every exploration that's ever been done. We are now being called on by our country to do it once again," said Strong.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is already in Huntsville, and they're competing with Blue Origin for the ULA contract. But, Chairman Strong said Madison County is partnered with both companies.
"We're not going to advocate that one get this authorization over the other one. What we're saying is, yes the RD-180 is one propulsion device that's going to be replaced, both of them have the capability of doing that," he explained.
Regardless of the outcome, Strong said he 's pleased with the position they're in.
"I believe we're going to move forward with this, and I think Madison County hands will be all over this rocket engine when it's produced," he said.
Huntsville City Council will vote on its part in the Blue Origin agreement at Thursday's city council meeting.