By: Marco Santana, Orlando Sentinel
The transformation of the Space Center and the 144,000-acre property required a vision where government and commercial companies were both welcomed and supported.
The resulting growth in the industry has created potential opportunities for contractors.
NASA has an Exploration Mission 1 test flight planned for 2019 that will send an unmanned spacecraft to the moon and the U.S. Air Force’s experimental X-37B space plane lands at the runway that used to welcome the shuttle.
Private companies SpaceX and United Launch Alliance regularly send rockets into space from the cape, with Sierra Nevada Corp. coming to the area. Blue Origin and OneWeb have huge facilities under construction.
“If we are to be successful as a nation, it’s not all government, it’s not all commercial,” he said. “We need them both if we are going to truly be successful as a nation in space.”
Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana hopes new programs can help Kennedy add 2,000 people, bringing the total workforce to about 10,000.