Filling the vacancy left by the end of the shuttle program, Boeing is bringing a new venture to Kennedy Space Center.
The company is going to manufacture and test its Crew Space Transportation spacecraft, creating 140 jobs by the summer of 2013.
More than 500 additional jobs are expected to be added by the end of 2015.
Governor Rick Scott and Boeing executives are celebrating the announcement in central Florida today.
Here is the official news release from Governor Scott's press office:
Kennedy Space Center - Governor Rick Scott announced that Boeing will manufacture and test its Crew Space Transportation-100 (CST-100) spacecraft and locate its Commercial Crew program headquarters at Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Boeing expects to create 140 jobs in Florida by June 2013 and 550 by December 2015.
The CST-100 is a reusable capsule-shaped spacecraft that has a crew module and service module. Boeing has planned test flights in 2015 from the Eastern Launch Range at Cape Canaveral.
"Florida has five decades of leadership in the space industry, which makes our state the logical place for the next phase of space travel and exploration," Governor Scott said. "Boeing's choice of Florida for its Commercial Crew program headquarters is evidence Florida has the world-class facilities and workforce expertise needed for aerospace companies to succeed."
In partnership with Space Florida, Boeing plans to modernize Orbital Processing Facility-3 (OPF-3), which was previously used to perform maintenance on the shuttle orbiters. The OPF-3 offers the facility needed for manufacturing and processing the spacecraft, as well as office, laboratory and logistics areas needed to support mission operations and training.
Partner organizations include NASA, Space Florida, Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast, Enterprise Florida, the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners and Brevard Workforce.
"We are extremely pleased that Boeing will locate its Commercial Crew headquarters here in Florida," said Frank DiBello, president of Space Florida, the State's space economic development agency. "This positions our state well for future growth and a leadership role in NASA's next generation human space exploration initiatives. It is also a key factor in ensuring Florida's space-related economy continues to thrive in the post-shuttle retirement."