Constellium Rolled Products CEO, Buddy Stemple, traveled to Washington D.C. on Wednesday to meet with West Virginia Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin regarding Constellium’s partnership with Blue Origin.
Blue Origin, LLC is an American privately funded aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company headquartered in Kent, Washington.
Constellium plays a major role in the mission of Blue Origin, which is to build a road to space so our children can build the future.
Working with Blue Origin for almost a decade, Constellium’s Ravenswood operation provides them with most of, if not all of, the materials to assist in building their rockets. Materials used for the rockets are partially reusable. Once launched, half of the rocket returns to Earth and can be reused in future projects.
One main project that Constellium has had a hand in assisting with is the New Glenn project.
The New Glenn (named for John Glenn) is a heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle in development by Blue Origin. Design work on the vehicle began in 2012. Like the New Shepard suborbital launch vehicle that preceded it, the New Glenn’s first stage is designed to be reusable. Blue Origin aims to launch New Glenn in 2021.
Stemple said that America has been falling behind on the amount of objects they have been able to send into space for exploration.
He noted that China had put two probes on the moon last year, one on the dark side of the moon, which he said American has not been able to do.
“With ambition to get into space, to get on the moon, and stay on the moon, they’re going to need to get a lot of stuff up there,” Stemple said. “We need to get back in the lead, and commercial launch systems have a big part to play in that.”
Stemple feels there is a great need to launch a lot of rockets, rockets that will carry not only astronauts, but payloads, lunar landing systems, solar power systems, and more to be able to research space appropriately.
As work begins on the 2021 NASA budget, Stemple said he wanted them to realize what a big partner Blue Origin is for Constellium in Ravenswood. More funding for rocket research means more need for materials for the rockets. All of this means that Constellium will continue to play an important role in the study of space exploration, putting Ravenswood on the map for their part in the creation of the rockets used to make history.
Stemple said he appreciated the time that was given to him by Senator Capito and Senator Manchin.
“I want to thank Senator Capito and Senator Manchin for their support,” Stemple said. “They have always been very supportive of Constellium.”