PUNTA GORDA, Fla.—Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday announced a new 660,000 square foot facility would be erected to house Terran Orbital, a commercial spacecraft company expected to bring approximately 2,100 jobs to the Sunshine State’s Space Coast.
Speaking from Merritt Island, Florida, Terran Orbital CEO Marc Bell said that the company intends to invest more than $300,000 million in new construction and equipment, making it the largest satellite manufacturing facility in the world. By the end of 2025, the estimated average annual wage would be $84,000. He said the groundbreaking for the facility would be next summer.
The new endeavor will be at Space Florida’s launch and landing facility, near the Kennedy Space Center, the former landing site for the Space Shuttle program that ended in 2011. The facility is operated by Space Florida.
DeSantis said that the new facility will “enable complete satellite manufacturing from the smallest components to the final product.”
“This will mean circuit boards and space vehicles,” he said at the press conference on Monday. “Satellite manufacturing is an important part of the economy here on the Space Coast, and this really ups the ante.”
Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello said that the area has “witnessed a great comeback over the last three years.”
DiBello credits this comeback to the community doing what is “necessary to move with the times, address challenges and creates new opportunities for our citizens.”
Terran Orbital’s CEO said the new facility will be able to produce approximately 1,000 satellites and one million satellite components annually. These satellites are mostly small CubeSats, or nanosatellites, each of which resembles a black Rubik’s Cube.
Attracting the satellite company to Florida was kept “under wraps” and was referred to as “Project Kracken” by Space Florida and Lt. Governor Jeanette Nunez, who said these negotiations for leasing deals and potential government incentives have been taking place since March.
“Florida’s commercial space industry is thriving, not only with launches but also with manufacturing opportunities,” Nunez said at the press conference. “Terran Orbital will be a great addition to our state’s aerospace landscape, and I look forward to watching its growth at the Cape.”
Other commercial space operations that have set up on the Space Coast are Blue Origin, SpaceX, Sierra Space, CAE, and Red Wire. Terran Orbital focuses on several different areas for their products. Their designs aid in government defense and intelligence, business intelligence, shipping and logistics, and support when natural disasters such as hurricanes occur including assisting in rescue missions.
Terran Orbital is a corporation that provides an end-to-end satellite service. The company combines the design, production, launch planning, mission operations, and in-orbit support involving satellite technology, and aids in meeting the needs of the military, as well as civil and commercial outlets.