Bear Metal tours Blue Origin rocket factory

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Photo courtesy Blue Origin

Starship Enterprise stood before us as we entered the lobby. We crowded around the starship model actually used in making the first Star Trek movies. Then we noticed the full-size spaceship towering nearby. Shiny and bullet-shaped, it resembled the Victorian spacefaring projectile of Jules Verne’s fiction. Outfitted in steampunk fashion with brass and copper ornament, nineteenth century moonship shared space in the lobby with twenty-third century starship.

Tahoma High School’s robotics club was visiting Blue Origin, the rocket building company started by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and headquartered in Kent. Our group of 12 students and 7 mentors were there to see the factory where the spacecraft are built which, according to plans, soon will take passengers on suborbital flights. Larger rockets will deliver satellites and other large payloads to earth orbit.

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