Brevard’s next challenge in aerospace: develop workforce


Florida’s Space Coast has seen impressive growth in its aerospace and defense industries. The dark days after Atlantis’ final mission in 2011 have given way to a kind of renaissance at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport, with United Launch Alliance, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Orbital ATK, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Sierra Nevada, Moon Express, Rocket Lab, Firefly and others developing new vehicles that will launch and land here.

Lockheed Martin’s work at the Cape for the Navy’s strategic missiles program is growing, and thirty minutes south of the spaceport, companies like Northrop Grumman, Harris, Embraer, Thales and others are hiring hundreds of skilled workers to meet their growth needs. It seems we’re well on our way to regaining the jobs lost after the Space Shuttle’s retirement.

Now we welcome Blue Origin’s planned launch vehicle manufacturing, and the secretive Project Sabal, to be announced as a OneWeb satellite manufacturing operation. These two are the culmination of decades of effort by Florida to diversify its space industry beyond its traditional launch services role.