For Full Story: Spaceflight News
Article By: Maciej Heyman
Nearly $18 million support has been proposed to be chipped in by the state to support SpaceX and Blue Origin to build new facilities at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), and the same is expected to add around 140 new jobs.
Space Florida’s Board of Directors are to meet this week in Tampa to consider on the two proposals of $14.5 million to support SpaceX’s spaceport expansion plans that also includes one hanger for the Falcon rockets refurbishments and a control tower.
In an another $3.4 million proposal, decision would be taken to grant support for a rocket manufacturing site by Blue Origin at Exploration Park, a complex managed by the state on NASA’s property towards the south end of Kennedy Space Center.
On successful approval of the agreements, Florida Department of Transportation would initiate reimbursing the companies some or all of the approved expenses as per the amounts. The department had earlier budgeted around $31 million for the improvement of spaceport infrastructure for this year and almost more than $100 million for the year starting July 1, 2018.
The majority of the scope of work has been categorized as ‘common infrastructure improvement jobs’ alike common utilities and road access to benefit multiple guests or tenants all around and along the site apart from the two billionaires led private companies.
Respective $15 million and $30 million of their own money have been committed by SpaceX and Blue Origin to be invested in the improvement and more for the overall projects. Although SpaceX is yet to reveal its budget for the “SpaceX Operational Area” on the 67 acres land at KSC, which includes 133,000 square foot area for hanger and a control tower for launch and landing which will stand about 300 feet tall, along with a rocket garden, some utility yards, and a security office.
This expansion plan by SpaceX is expected to create 90 more job opportunities with annual age figures of about $75,000, as per Space Florida’s meeting agenda titled as “FDOT Project Palmer/SpaceX.”
SpaceX is on its mission of launching more than 20 unique missions in this year and believes that it has the capabilities to eventually have more than 60 rocket launches and lands in a year. With the development of the new facilities at KSC, the company aims to recover and reuse parts and make Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rocket more efficient.
As per Blue origin, it had announced previously that it would invest $200 million with its 750,000 square foot factory which is near to completion and at its Launch Complexes 36 and 11 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It will facilitate orbital New Glenn rocket launch by 2020. The company has also committed around 330 new jobs at an average wage of $89,000.