NASA has selected Blue Origin to modernize a vertical firing test platform at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama for the company to perform assessments of the BE-3U and BE-4 rocket engines.
The company will refurbish the 300-foot Test Stand 4670, which has remained inactive since 1998 as part of the agreement under the Commercial Space Launch Act, NASA said Wednesday.
Blue Origin's New Glenn rocket and United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan launch vehicle are slated to deploy the BE-4 engine for commercial, civil and national security space missions.
"Through this agreement, we'll provide for the refurbishment, restoration and modernization of this piece of American history – and bring the sounds of rocket engines firing back to Huntsville,” said Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin.
NASA issued a notice of availability for commercial use of the test stand when the platform was designated as an underutilized facility in 2017.