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Secret Rocket Company Could Bring Jobs, Investment To Space Coast

Launch pads along Florida's Space Coast. Photo: NASA

Space Florida is closer to finalizing a deal with a secret commercial rocket launch company that could bring 239 more jobs to Brevard county.

Its code name is “Project Maricopa” and Space Florida officials said the company is willing to invest $52 million into the Space Coast.

At a board meeting in Orlando, Space Florida received approval to broker a deal with the Florida Department of Transportation to provide up to $18 million for infrastructure upgrades. In return, the company will create 239 jobs with an anticipated annual wage of around $70,000 with benefits.

The company would manufacture its rockets at Exploration Park, a facility south of the Kennedy Space Center, and launch from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 20.

Space Florida did not name the company at its meeting, saying the deal is still competitive. A formal announcement is expected early next year.

The board also approved a similar deal to provide investment from FDOT at a facility on the Space Coast called "Area 57 West" which would provide rocket booster storage and processing facilities. Space Florida said the facility could provide an addition 35 jobs with an annual wage of about $85,000.

"These are two key infrastructure assets that will be a major part of the tools in our toolkit to attract next-genration companies," said Space Florida President Frank DiBello.

Space Florida is the state's aerospace economic development agency.

Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.

Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.
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