EXPLORATION PARK, Fla. (Space Florida PR) — As Space Florida continues re-development of Space Launch Complex 20 (SLC-20) at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport as a multi-pad commercial launch site and home to Firefly Aerospace’s east coast launch operations, a significant milestone was reached in October with Space Florida’s completion of an Environmental Assessment encompassing modernization of facilities and high-cadence launch operations from the site.
Completion of this critical environmental review enables Firefly’s continued development and future operations at SLC-20, while ensuring that such activities pose no significant impact to the treasured natural assets of the spaceport.
Additionally, in October, Space Florida’s Board of Directors authorized Space Florida to enter long-term lease agreements for the site with the 45th Space Wing and Firefly, marking another important milestone in the ongoing transformation of the Cape Canaveral Spaceport into a hub for commercial space operations.
Space Florida would further like to congratulate Firefly on completion of acceptance testing and delivery of the first Alpha launch vehicle to Vandenberg AFB in preparation for the company’s initial launch.
We look forward to a successful mission as Firefly emerges as a leader in the small launch market, and continues preparation of both the SLC-20 launch site and the company’s new high-volume automated rocket factory in Space Florida’s Exploration Park at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport.
Florida Todayreports on plans by Blue Origin to expand its facilities in Florida:
Labeled as “South Campus” in water management district documents obtained by FLORIDA TODAY, the 90-acre expansion will connect to the factory at Exploration Park, which is a publicly accessible region just west of KSC’s main gate. The two-lane Space Commerce Way winds through the area, connecting other players like satellite company OneWeb, economic development agency Space Florida and the main entrance to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
The south campus will nearly double the size of land Blue Origin already leases from NASA, enabling the Jeff Bezos-led company to establish “programs complimentary to those constructed on the adjacent North Campus,” according to the documents. Blue will build 270- and 313-foot variants of New Glenn rockets in the massive blue-and-white factory on the north campus, which will launch no sooner than 2021.
Blue Origin’s media team did not respond to an inquiry about the land, which the company leased directly from NASA for 50 years. The total payments over that period will equal $20.3 million according to the final lease signed in December, which was also obtained by FLORIDA TODAY.
Building out a complex and finding a need for additional capacity isn’t uncommon in the spaceflight industry.
The Orlando Sentinelreports that Space Florida is closer to a deal with an unidentified launch services company to bring 239 jobs to the Space Coast.
Space Florida’s Board of Directors approved a request to finalize negotiations with an undisclosed company under code name “Project Maricopa” Tuesday during its quarterly meeting in Orlando. Because of the competition involved in the deal, Space Florida will not reveal the name of the company until terms are complete.
Under the planned deal, the Florida Department of Transportation will reimburse 50 percent of what the company spends on common infrastructure, such as roads and utilities, up to $18.9 million. In exchange, the company will commit to investing $52 million in Florida….
Space Florida has been in talks with the company for the past year, ironing out a deal that would include launch services at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s launch complex 20 and a manufacturing facility at Exploration Park, the state-run complex near Kennedy Space Center.
Blue Origin has yet to launch a rocket from Florida, but it is already planning an expansion of its operations in the Sunshine State, the Orlando Sentinelreports.
According to Space Florida, the state’s spaceport authority, the company is moving ahead with a $60 million facility in Exploration Park, the state-run complex near Kennedy Space Center where Blue Origin has already built a more than $200 million rocket factory, set to open early next year.
The new testing and refurbishment complex will create about 50 jobs with estimated annual wages of $70,000, plus benefits, according to Space Florida’s board of director meeting agenda. The board approved Space Florida to enter into an agreement with Blue Origin regarding the facility last month.
As part of the pact, the state will use tax dollars to reimburse Blue Origin up to $4 million in common infrastructure costs, such as roads and utilities….
The new testing and refurbishment facility will be central to Blue Origin’s commitment to reusability. The first stage of the New Glenn rocket, which provides the muscle for the launch, will be fully reusable, Blue Origin has said. It will land on a ship after separation from the second stage.
The draft environmental assessment for SpaceX’s proposed expansion at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) also revealed that Elon Musk’s rocket company plans to most of more than 4,000 satellites of its planned Starlink constellation from Cape Canaveral.
That will guarantee a busy schedule for SpaceX’s Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at KSC and LC-40 at the adjoining Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS). LC-39A can accommodate Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy boosters while LC-40 is configured for the Falcon 9.
Testimony of Greg Wyler Founder and Executive Chairman, Worldu Satellites Limited (OneWeb)
Before Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology Oct. 25, 2017
This is a great time to discuss our progress as we are investing over $4 billion to build the world’s first large scale satellite constellation, and will begin launching our fleet in the coming months.
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — The portfolio of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center will soon include large-scale satellite manufacturing following Thursday’s groundbreaking for a 150,000-square foot spacecraft factory in the center’s Exploration Park.
The Space Florida board of directors has approved a deal with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin giving the company rights to a Cape Canaveral launch pad and land for a facility to manufacture rockets.
Blue Origin will lease Launch Complex 36 from Space Florida, which controls the pad through November 2019. The company at some point is expected to lease the facility directly from the Air Force.
Blue Origin will pay for all improvements to the launch complex and for its ongoing maintenance.
Bezos last month said the company planned to build a large processing facility there and a stand for test-firing BE-4 rocket engines — powered by liquefied natural gas and producing 550,000 pounds of thrust — to be sure they are ready for launch….
In addition, Blue Origin will sub-lease from Space Florida 139 acres of NASA property at Exploration Park for its rocket factory. That agreement initially runs through 2030, with renewal options available until 2065.
In total, Blue Origin is expected to invest between $205 million and $220 million in local infrastructure, eventually creating 330 jobs with average wages of about $89,000. The company will receive at least $18 million in state incentives, including $8 million from the North Brevard Economic Development Zone.
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., September 16, 2015 — The 45th Space Wing expanded commercial space launch operations by welcoming Blue Origin to the Eastern Range during a media event held at Space Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, Sept. 15, 2015. (more…)
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (Blue Origin PR) — Today we announced that we’ll be flying our orbital launch vehicle from Florida. Cape Canaveral has long been a gateway to humankind’s greatest adventures. As a kid, I was inspired by the giant Saturn V missions that roared to life from these shores. Now we are thrilled to be coming to the Sunshine State for a new era of exploration. (more…)
SPACE FLORIDA PR â€“ KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA â€“ Site work has begun on Exploration Park, the high-tech research and office park being developed by The Pizzuti Companies in partnership with Space Florida.
Tom Harmer, senior vice president for The Pizzuti Companies, said the initial work includes clearing the site, transporting fill dirt and initial site grading. Work on this phase of the project is expected to take approximately eight weeks to complete, Harmer said.
This week, Pizzuti Solutions was honored by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) with an â€œHonorable Mentionâ€ for Exploration ParkÂ® in the â€œPublic/Private Partnershipsâ€ category of IEDCâ€™s â€œExcellence in Economic Development Awardsâ€ in communities with a 500,000+ population.