UK-US OneWeb Venture to Increase Global Connectivity

An engineer works inside of OneWeb’s satellite production facility. (Credit: OneWeb)
  • Joint venture between OneWeb and Airbus sees satellite manufacturing facility open in Florida helping to revitalise Florida’s Space Coast with 250 new high-tech jobs and 3,000 indirect jobs through the supply chain
  • Department for International Trade celebrates 1 year of the Space Exports Strategy
  • In 2015, American companies represented nearly half of all FDI in the UK space sector—roughly £5.1bn of £12bn

EXPLORATION PARK, Fla. (UK Department of International Trade PR) — Today (July 22) UK-based OneWeb, the communications company powered by satellites, announced the opening of OneWeb Satellites, the first-ever, high-volume satellite manufacturing facility on Merritt Island, Florida, as part of a joint venture with Airbus. It comes just after the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.


Brevard County Primary Election Could Affect Economic Development

Brevard_County_SealA political update from the Florida Space Development Council.

Space Coast Economic Development Efforts at Risk in Election

August 14, 2014 – State-level support for economic development is important, but it is only part of the story when it comes to inducing companies to relocate or expand in the state. Local governments are essential providers of financial incentives, and can be key players for the state’s outreach and marketing to targeted industries. Florida’s Space Coast has been among the state’s most aggressive and successful communities for economic development, as evidenced by the vibrant aerospace/defense industry in the Melbourne area.

So, the Aug. 26 Primary election of Brevard County commissioners is of concern to economic development advocates who hope the county will step up its efforts to attract new space and aerospace businesses in the wake of SpaceX’s decision to move its commercial launch operations to Texas. Some commission candidates, if elected, are expected to seek deep cuts to the county’s economic development budget, a prospect that should worry residents eager for space industry expansion.

Some 15 candidates are competing for two open commission seats. Click here for a series of interviews with many of them. FSDC will not endorse any candidates, but we do urge everyone to pay attention, learn about the candidates, and vote on Aug. 26 (or before with early voting.

Space Coast EDC Pushes for Florida Congressional Unity on Space, Defense Interests

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla., December 16, 2013 (Space Coast EDC PR) —
Working to strengthen the cohesion of Florida’s 29-member Congressional delegation and further build awareness of the challenges and opportunities in the space and defense industries, the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to meet with key congressional leaders and staff.

In separate meetings with chiefs of staff from Florida’s Republican and Democratic delegations, as well as with staff from U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s office and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s office, the EDC team began its efforts to unify all Florida representatives and senators behind issues of statewide impact.


Space Coast Job Incentives Deals a Mixed Bag

Rocket Crafters concept vehicle (Credit: Rocket Crafters)
Rocket Crafters concept vehicle (Credit: Rocket Crafters)

The Miami Herald reports that the jobs incentives deals that Gov. Rick Scott has crafted to lure businesses to the Space Coast have been a mixed bag. On the plus side, Brevard County’s unemployment rate, which peaked after the end of NASA’s space shuttle program, has been reduced from more than 11 percent to 7 percent.  Deals with large companies such as Boeing and Embraer promise to eventually add thousands of additional jobs in the area.

On the other hand, a $7 million incentives deal with start-up company Rocket Crafters appears to have augered in. And  even positive achievements appear to rely heavily on federal contracts, not necessarily on private sector growth, limiting the ability of the area to diversify its economy away from government spending.


Florida Space Coast Getting $124 Million Boost

Florida Gov. Rick Scott

The Florida Space Coast, hard hit by the economic meltdown and the end of the space shuttle program, got a couple of big shots in the arm on Wednesday as officials broke ground on two technology centers.

Gov. Rick Scott was on hand for groundbreaking ceremonies for the new $24 million Embraer Engineering and Technology Center USA at Melbourne International Airport. The governor also attended the groundbreaking on $100 million Harris Technology Center in nearby Palm Bay. Both projects represent expansions of existing operations in those locations backed by the financial support of state and local governments.


U.S. Navy, Florida Break Ground on New Missile Test Facility on Cape Canaveral

Florida Gov. Rick Scott

Cape Canaveral, FL, November 8, 2012 (Space Florida PR) –Today, the U.S. Navy, Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll, Space Florida, and the Economic Development Commission (EDC) of Florida’s Space Coast – broke ground on the new Strategic Weapons System Ashore (SWS Ashore) facility at Cape Canaveral AFS. Space Florida and the EDC anticipate 100 jobs may be created within three years as a result of the project, with average annual salaries of $90,000 and approximately 85% of the projected workforce from civilian contractors, including former Space Shuttle workers sourced locally.

Governor Rick Scott said, “Florida has a uniquely skilled workforce for aerospace research and development projects – and I’m proud to see this community will be the centerpiece of this project. I’ve made job creation my number one priority, and while our work isn’t done this is a step in the right direction.”


Florida Space Coast EDC Recognized For Promotional Effort

Brevard County, Fla., October 4, 2012 (EDC PR) – The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast’s powerful, information-packed brochure touting Brevard County’s competitive advantages in technology, work force, quality of life and other areas received a Silver Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council.

The EDC’s 10-page brochure, “Florida’s Space Coast: America’s High Tech Titan,” competed against materials from the nation’s largest economic development organizations. The award was presented this week at the IEDC Annual Conference in Houston, Texas.


Space Coast EDC Establishes Business Development Incentive Fund

Brevard County, Fla., Sept. 28, 2012 (EDC PR) – The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast is pleased to announce that it has developed an economic development incentive fund designed to assist in expanding existing Brevard County high-tech and manufacturing businesses and attracting new businesses to the Space Coast.


Guest Opinion: Sequestration Cuts Would Devastate Space Coast Economy

Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center

Space Coast Economy Threatened by Congress, Again

By Ronald Cobb
Chairman, Space Coast Defense Alliance
Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast

It’s time for Congress to get off the dime and take action on the federal budget. Avoiding sequestration must be a priority to avoid a congressionally induced economic calamity for the Space Coast, Central Florida, and the nation.  Last year, with the failure of  the so-called Super Committee to agree to $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction, Congress decided the only way to cut spending was to put a gun to our head, called sequestration, under the assumption the result would be so unthinkable that surely consensus would be achieved to prevent that debacle.  Yet here we are, with a finger on the trigger and Washington doing nothing to avert disaster.


XCOR to Annouce Florida Plans on Thursday Morning

Full-scale mockup of XCOR's Lynx suborbital space plane. (Credit: Douglas Messier)
A full-scale Lynx mockup. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

XCOR Aerospace Announces Operations
  and Manufacturing Base in Florida

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll
XCOR CEO Jeff Greason
Space Florida President Frank DiBello
NASA-KSC Director Robert Cabana
NASA Chief of Staff David Radzanowski
U.S. Senator Bill Nelson
EDC of Florida’s Space Coast President Lynda Weatherman
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex COO Bill Moore
Jacksonville Aviation Authority Sr. Manager of Aviation Planning & Spaceport Development Todd Lindner

XCOR Aerospace will announce details regarding its intent to establish a manufacturing and assembly center for XCOR Lynx Mark II suborbital reusable launch vehicles on Florida’s Space Coast.

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon
Thursday, August 23, 2012

Astronaut Encounter Theater
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Jacksonville Aviation Authority oversees Cecil Field, a former Naval Air Station that is now a licensed FAA spaceport.

A Space Florida rep tells me that this event will not be webcast, but officials are discussing holding a teleconference later in the day for media reps who can’t make it to KSC. I will cover that event if it occurs.


Navy to Refurbish Cape Canaveral Missile Test Complex, Boost Employment

Cape Canaveral, FL, August 2, 2012 (Space Florida PR) – The Navy Strategic Systems Program at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) will refurbish and update a 1950s-era submarine missile test complex. The new Strategic Weapons System Ashore (SWS Ashore) facility at CCAFS Complexes 25 and 29 will provide the U.S. Navy with a single, land-based facility for testing submarine missile systems.

CCAFS Launch Complexes 25 and 29 were originally constructed for the first Fleet Ballistic Missile test launches in the 1950s, and use of the locations was discontinued in the 1970s. When the new work is finished, the complexes will support testing systems found in the current Ohio-class submarine as well as systems under development for the Ohio replacement submarine.

XCOR Eyes Florida Space Coast for Possible Lynx Production, Operations

Full-scale mockup of XCOR's Lynx suborbital space plane. (Credit: Douglas Messier)
A full-scale Lynx mockup. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

UPDATE: Florida Today reports that Brevard County commissioners approved the matching grant by a 3-1 vote, with Trudie Infantini voting against it because she opposed up-front cash payments in advance of job creation. Assistant County Manager Stockton Whitten says that traditional property tax breaks cannot be used in this case because XCOR’s facility would be on Kennedy Space Center property, which is federal land outside of county control.

XCOR Chief Operating Officer Andrew Nelson was in Florida today to discuss the possibility of XCOR building and operating Lynx suborbital vehicles on the Space Coast:

XCOR Aerospace Inc., known until now as Project Planet as the company made its way through economic development channels in Florida, will reveal possible plans for building rocket engines and a suborbital spacecraft on the Space Coast in an appearance before the Brevard County Commission.

The commission is scheduled to approve matching funds for a nearly $1 million state grant to lure the company.


Florida Space Coast News: L2 Aerospace Teams with Cella Energy on UAVs

Cape Canaveral, FL (L2 PR) – L2 Aerospace, an innovative company providing integrated ground, air and space-based products and services, is pleased to announce their partnership with Cella Energy, a company with patented technology in safe, low-cost hydrogen storage materials to produce longer duration unmanned systems.


Big Win for Space Coast: Utah Hybrid Rocket Company to Relocate to Titusville

Brevard County, Fla., July 10, 2012 (EDC PR) – The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, Enterprise Florida, City of Titusville, Space Florida, and Titusville-Cocoa Airport Authority are pleased to announce that Rocket Crafters, a Utah-based corporation that holds licenses for advanced hybrid rocket and aerospace composite technologies as well as proprietary hybrid rocket design and analysis software, will relocate to Titusville.

The company plans to develop and commercialize a new hybrid rocket propulsion technology and leverage an ultra-lightweight, advanced composite material to manufacture dual-propulsion suborbital space planes. Rocket Crafters is focused on spaceflight training and commercializing the enabling technologies required for the future suborbital new space opportunities for both commercial and military applications.

Rocket Crafters will invest $72 million to support operations at the Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville. At full employment, the company’s total economic impact is estimated to be over $48 million.