Firefly Aerospace coming to the Space Coast
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) – New rockets and new jobs are coming soon to the Space Coast, and Florida’s new governor is calling it a win for the state.
Florida offered up to $18.9 million to help attract a Texas-based company that was announced Friday as coming to Cape Canaveral.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, saying the state is willing to back such projects, announced from Launch Pad 20 at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport that Austin, Texas-based Firefly Aerospace’s multi-year, $52 million development project will include more than 200 jobs.
Since 1950, launches have been happening at the Air Force Station. Now, commercial rocket companies are getting the rights to use historic launch complexes. On Friday, Firefly Aerospace announced its goal is to have rockets going up by 2021.
“I think our space mission… we’ve got good ‘mojo’ back,” said Gov. DeSantis
Gov. Desantis says Firefly Aerospace checks two boxes: one, they will manufacture rockets on the Space Coast, and two, they will put them into space from here. The founder of Firefly says 24 launches a year is what the company would like to achieve.
“Like the name says, we’re going to continue to light up the sky here in Florida,” said Tom Markusic, Founder of Firefly AeroSpace.
Firefly says, just like this week’s SpaceX launch, they will offer payloads to the moon.
“We’re really a second-generation new space company, I was an early employee of SpaceX so me and Firefly, we really represent the investment and continued dividends,” Markusic said.
“This is going to have long-term positive implications for us and I’m really excited to be here,” Gov. Desantis said.
Originally, the site at Launch Pad 20 was for missiles. With this new endeavor, the complex is slated to become a taxi cab stand to the cosmos.
Firefly will set up a shop in Space Florida’s Exploration Park, near the gates of Kennedy Space Center, and use Space Launch Complex 20. They will join Blue Origin, the Jeff Bezos company that is building a launch-vehicle production facility, and OneWeb, a communications company building a satellite manufacturing facility.
DeSantis said the state is “willing to put up money” for the facilities, which besides jobs should provide apprenticeships to high school and college students.
“I think that this will have long-term positive implications for us,” DeSantis said.
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