A suborbital vehicle, New Shepard, is also using the BE-3 engine and and is expected to start test flights later this year.
The SV crew vehicle is a biconic capsule originally a competitor in NASA's Commercial Crew competition.
Blue Origin eyes Cape Canaveral to build, launch rockets
A billionaire-backed company that aspires to make human spaceflight more affordable would build rockets near Kennedy Space Center and launch them from Cape Canaveral if state officials can secure its commitment in the coming weeks.
Blue Origin, founded in 2000 by Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos, could choose from among several states as soon as next month. Brevard County is a contender to win a rocket manufacturing site and up to 300 jobs in preparation for orbital launches in the next five years.
"I have talked to Jeff Bezos, urging him to come to the Cape," U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson told FLORIDA TODAY, confirming Seattle-based Blue Origin is the company the state has been wooing under the code name of Project Panther.
Blue Origin's arrival would be a boost for the Space Coast's future in the commercial space sector, not long after SpaceX chose Texas as a commercial launch site.
It would also mark a successful conclusion to a deal forced to shift gears late when the company's preferred launch site near Volusia County ran into obstacles, threatening the state's bid.
The state's revised proposal would have Blue Origin set up a manufacturing site in Exploration Park, a planned research and industrial complex outside KSC's south gate, and launch from Launch Complex 36, a state-run pad on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Blue Origin so far has confirmed only that Florida is one of the states it is considering for orbital launches. "We're hoping to make a decision about that soon," said company President Rob Meyerson.
The company plans to begin flight tests this year of a suborbital spacecraft designed to carry at least three people. It is also developing an engine to power a new rocket for United Launch Alliance, the U.S. government's primary launcher of high-value missions.
Fighting for Shiloh
Talks about the so-called Project Panther initially focused on the state's proposed Shiloh commercial launch complex, which straddles the Brevard-Volusia border on property NASA shares with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. A rocket factory would have been located in nearby Oak Hill in southern Volusia County.
Blue Origin was one of the first commercial space companies to express interest in the Shiloh site after Space Florida in 2012 asked NASA for 200 acres of land there for one or two launch pads.
Like SpaceX, which plans to build a private launch complex in Texas, Blue Origin believes commercial launchers need facilities outside NASA or Air Force control to thrive, just as commercial aviation operates independently from military bases.
Blue Origin will fly its New Shepard suborbital capsule from its own private range in western Texas, a step toward development of an orbital rocket and spacecraft.
Blue Origin SV crew vehicle
New Shepard suborbital concept
Reusable Booster System concept