Blue Origin CEO to tour aerospace manufacturing facilities in Wichita

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 11:39 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The CEO of a spacecraft company owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos will be in Wichita Wednesday, June 30, touring manufacturing facilities with U.S. Senator Jerry Moran. Moran’s team said the goal is to showcase Wichita’s aerospace industry, in hopes of bringing in more jobs.

Wichita is already well known for its aviation manufacturing, but soon, it could expand into private spacecraft. Wednesday’s tour comes just weeks before the first private flight into space takes off. On July 20, Bezos will blast off into space aboard Blue Origin’s “New Shepard” aircraft.

“It’s exciting. They’ve got quite a vision,” Globe Engineering President Jeff Teague said.

Manufacturing spacecraft is something Globe Engineering already has some experience with.

“We started with Rocketdyne in the 90s, building all the hydrogen fuel lines for expendable launch vehicles,” Teague said. “And we did that for a number of years. We built shuttle parts through the years when they were still flying.”

Still, it’s nowhere near the level of work compared to aviation in Wichita.

Moran and Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith will tour Globe Engineering on Wednesday, along with a handful of other facilities.

“It could be a lot of work for these suppliers,” Moran said.

Moran’s team said if Blue Origin decides to contract with Wichita companies or establish its own location in the city, it could mean more aerospace jobs in Wichita.

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