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Space Florida is negotiating to bring a $300 million satellite factory to Brevard County that could create at least 2,000 high-wage jobs by 2025.
The undisclosed company, code-named “Kraken,” is eyeing Space Florida’s launch and landing facility, formerly the Shuttle landing facility, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for the spacecraft factory.
There has been speculation that the un-named company is Amazon since its satellite constellation business has a similar name, Project Kuiper, and is based in Seattle where the new hockey team is called Kraken.
Source confirms it is not Amazon
A source with knowledge of the deal confirmed it is not Amazon.
The deal would be a major part of Space Florida’s plan to have a wide variety of commercial-space companies based in Florida doing everything from manufacturing to launch.
“Our goal is to establish both a quick-reaction launch vehicle manufacturing, integration, and launch capability, for what we call ‘launch on demand,’ as well as projects like the one we have before us today, the satellite-on-demand capability,” Space Florida President Frank DiBello said on a call with the agency’s board of directors.
The board approved having the agency’s staff negotiate with the company and possibly offer creative financing, lease agreements and matching fund grants from the Florida Department of Transportation to sweeten the deal.
DiBello said they are competing with other states for the factory.
Another possibility is the Kraken could be SpaceX, which is currently manufacturing its Starlink satellites in Washington state. With nearly weekly Starlink launches from Cape Canaveral, moving manufacturing operations closer could be financially beneficial to the company.
A multi-billion dollar deal
According to the Satellite Industry Association, the satellite industry, including commercial as well as military, was worth $271 billion in 2019 and experts expect it to continue to grow.
With that kind of money at stake it’s not surprising Space Florida is pursuing another satellite company besides Kraken, albeit a bit smaller.
This one is known as Project Rising Tide and the unnamed company is evaluating several sites in Central Florida for its $35 million satellite manufacturing and support facility.
Hundreds of jobs for the space coast
This deal could create 250 jobs by 2023 with estimated annual wages of $85,000.
In this case, Space Florida believes the company has sufficient funding and credit and plans to execute leases and move forward with the financing of the facility.
In addition, Space Florida will participate in the company’s Series A fundraising and is preparing to contribute up to $1.5 million in equity investment subject to completion of due diligence and approval of Space Florida’s Board of Directors.