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Blue Origin CEO, Sen. Jerry Moran tour Wichita aerospace companies

Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 8:23 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The CEO of Blue Origin visited Wichita on Wednesday. He was in town touring local aerospace manufacturers with Senator Jerry Moran.

Blue Origin was founded by Jeff Bezos. CEO, Bob Smith, calls Wichita somewhat of a one-stop-shop for Blue Origin’s future space expeditions. Smith said Wichita has several qualities Blue Origin is looking for, like its central location and rich history in aerospace.

“The space industry has a supply base, but that space industry supply base is not necessarily the one we want. We actually want one that’s more diversified in what it can do, and particularly in the aviation world because it goes to larger volume and lower costs,” said Smith.

Choosing to contract with local suppliers could also mean more work for Wichitans. Smith and Moran toured facilities like Metal Finishing Company. Wednesday morning, the company received a proposal from Blue Origin.

Moran said Kansas playing a part in the future of private space travel is exciting.

“We’re always fighting to make sure the Air Capital of the World, Wichita, Kansas, remains the air capital of the world,” said Moran.

Smith said his team is confident and excited about Blue Origin’s upcoming inaugural flight. The company will send Bezos, his brother, a passenger who paid $28 million, and another person into space on July 20. Smith said we could learn who that fourth person is this week.

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