Aerospace giant Boeing is bringing its Space and Launch division to Titusville, adding manpower and services to a region where the company has done business for more than 60 years, the company announced this week.
Leanne Caret, the president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security, made the announcement and offered some of the reasons for the decision.
“Looking to the future, this storied Florida space community will be the center of gravity for Boeing’s space programs as we continue to build our company’s leadership beyond gravity,” said Caret. “The time is right for us to locate our space headquarters where so much of our space history was made over the past six decades and where so much history awaits.”
The move will bolster the recovery of the Space Coast after the shuttle flew its final mission in 2011. Gregory Weiner, the senior director of business development at the Space Coast Economic Development Commission said the recovery is already going well,and more growth is forecast down the road.
“This is kind of a historic moment,” Weiner said. “We are early in the cycle of what commercial space is going to be. So I think it is great that they have brought an important function like this here where I think there is an awful lot of history yet to be made.”
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., sent out his congratulations and approval and U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., also applauded the move.
“Our state is proud to have Boeing officially move their space division to Florida’s Space Coast. The space industry has long been an important and iconic part of Florida’s history and economic success, and with our incredible business climate and low taxes, it’s no surprise that Boeing chose our great state. Today’s announcement is great news for our growing Space Coast community and will create more jobs for hardworking Florida families,” Scott said.
Boeing listed several factors in its decision making, including ongoing launches of the company’s X-37B spacecraft and future launches of the Starliner commercial spacecraft. The company will conduct two more test flights of that craft before they put it into full service in 2020.
Weiner called the competition tough to bring in Boeing’s business and he insisted the Space Coast is ready to welcome the company.
“This mission control if you will, is critical,” he said. “It’s an important function to Boeing. It is going to help strengthen their collaboration, integrate their activities across their space portfolio and it is a new activity here for the Space Coast so we are really excited about it. Important to them, important to us.”
From Boeing’s standpoint, the move allows the company to work more closely with the 45th Space Wing, based at Patrick Air Force Base.
“Boeing has been a dominant presence on the Space Coast for six decades, and this move represents a continuation of that legacy and future commitment,” said Jim Chilton, the senior vice president of Boeing Space and Launch. “Expanding our Boeing presence on the Space Coast brings tremendous value for our commercial and government space programs through focused leadership, strategic investment, customer proximity and additional contributions to the vitality of the region.”
The company insisted the move will not affect operations in other states. The company’s space command is currently headquartered in Arlington, Virginia where Boeing will maintain a large presence.
Reach Mike Synan at email@example.com.