Terran Orbital and Space Florida signed an agreement on September 27 to build a manufacturing facility on Merritt Island, Florida, which is capable of producing over 1,000 satellites each year.
Terran Orbital, which is the parent company of PredaSAR and Tyvak, intends to claim ten hangars at Launch and Landing Facility, previously known as NASA Space Shuttle Landing Facility, for what Space Florida calls “the world’s largest satellite manufacturing facility.”
Terran Orbital CEO and co-founder Marc Bell stated in a statement, “Not only are we going to be able to increase our production capacities to satisfy the increasing market for our solutions, but we are also going to bring vital space vehicle manufacturing prospects and capabilities to the State of Florida, spending over $300 million in new building and equipment.” “By the close of 2025, we expect to have created around 2,100 new employments, with an average compensation of $84,000.” Terran Orbital announced plans to lease 4 floors of an Irvine, California office complex for satellite design, engineering, and development work just a week ago.
As per the September 27 news release, space will be reserved in the upcoming Terran Orbital facility to make and store “technologically sophisticated, printed circuit boards.” the largely automated Florida facility, which is 61,300-square-meter, is anticipated to be completed in three years. It will include additive manufacturing technology to speed up satellite manufacture and artificial intelligence to assist Terran Orbital in keeping track of its supply chain.
According to Bell, the factory is now in the design process, with the building set to begin in the mid of 2022. A “conduit financing” arrangement developed by Space Florida will cover the $300 million expenditure.
Terran Orbital has been using private money that Space Florida provided, according to Dale Ketcham, who serves as the vice president in charge of the government and external affairs for Space Florida. “We can put together an appealing financing package from the private sector so that the debt is owing to the capital markets rather than the taxpayers,” he informed SpaceNews, adding that the Space Florida has negotiated similar financing for prior projects.
The Department of Transportation in Florida awarded Space Florida $38 million to expand infrastructure at Launch and Landing Facility (LLF), including utilities and roadways, to accommodate Terran Orbital and other clients. “With Exploration Park nearly full, the LLF will be the next place we can offer land for the commercial space activities,” he stated, referring to the business park, which is just outside Kennedy Space Center gates where Blue Origin and OneWeb Satellites are based.
In a statement, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said, “Satellite production has been and it is going to continue to be a key sector of the Space Coast’s economy, and with this statement, we are going to up the ante.” “We will continue to lead in space in Florida by investing in the infrastructure, training highly talented individuals, and preserving an economic climate that encourages enterprises like the Terran Orbital to thrive.”