Left to right TJ Villamil (Department of Commerce), Kennedy Space Center Director Janet Petro, Brian Huseman (VP of Policy, Amazon Kuiper), State Rep. Thad Altman, Steve Metayer (VP of Production, Amazon Kuiper), Frank DiBello (president and CEO, Space Florida), Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, State Sen. Debbie Mayfield, State Sen. Tom Wright, State Rep. Robert Brackett –DOWNLOAD HERE
Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Space Florida Board of Directors Chair – DOWNLOAD HERE.
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EXPLORATION PARK, Fla.—July 21, 2023—Space Florida, the state’s aerospace finance and development authority, announced that Amazon’s Project Kuiper has expanded to Florida, investing $120 million into the construction of a satellite processing facility at Space Florida’s Launch and Landing Facility (LLF) located at Kennedy Space Center. The development project has been working under the name Project Comet.
Project Kuiper is Amazon’s low Earth orbit satellite network, which aims to provide fast, affordable broadband to unserved and underserved communities around the world. This new facility in Florida will enable the company to conduct final preparations ahead of satellite deployment through heavy-lift launch vehicles from Blue Origin and United Launch Alliance (ULA).
Key Amazon Florida Satellite Processing Facility Facts
- Amazon to invest approximately $120 million in new construction and high-value equipment
- 100,000+ square foot in payload processing and support facilities
- Bring up to 50 new jobs with an average annual wage of $80,000 plus benefits, and an additional 300 during the construction phase
- Amazon’s Project Kuiper utilized Space Florida’s lease structure agreement, which is part of the state’s financial toolkit
- Expected operational early 2025
The project will also benefit from the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) Spaceport Improvement Program, which is administered by Space Florida and FDOT, and encourages private investment in the Florida Spaceport System by providing matching investment in critical spaceport infrastructure.
“This partnership not only fuels Florida’s reputation as the gateway to space, but also accelerates Space Florida’s mission to transform the Launch and Landing Facility into the premier location for aerospace innovation,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Chair, Space Florida Board of Directors. “Together, we are solidifying our position as a global leader in the space economy. We look forward to the remarkable achievements and endless possibilities to come.”
“Adding Amazon’s satellite processing facility to the region’s growing industrial capability in commercial space is a testament to the power of building a statewide ecosystem that supports companies across the entire space supply chain,” said Frank DiBello, President and CEO, Space Florida. “This facility coming to Florida underscores the importance of our decades of infrastructure improvements and capital investments that have transformed Florida into a global center for the space economy. As the first land lease and development project following the installation of the utility corridor at Space Florida’s Launch and Landing Facility, we welcome Amazon to our state and look forward to being part of their mission of global connectivity.”
“We have an ambitious plan to begin Project Kuiper’s full-scale production launches and early customer pilots next year, and this new facility will play a critical role in helping us deliver on that timeline,” said Steve Metayer, vice president of Kuiper Production Operations. “We are proud to partner with Space Florida to bolster the growing space industry in Florida and elsewhere across the United States, and we look forward to adding more talent to our skilled operations and manufacturing team. These employees will play an important part in our mission to connect tens of millions of customers worldwide.”
“We are proud to continue our investment in Florida and to join the historic Space Coast community as we invest in people and facilities to support Project Kuiper, Amazon’s satellite broadband network,” said Brian Huseman, vice president of public policy and community engagement at Amazon. “We are grateful to Governor DeSantis and his administration, as well as our regional partners, for investing in infrastructure, training a highly skilled workforce, and maintaining an economic climate that allows Project Kuiper to advance our mission of providing internet access to unserved and underserved communities around the world.”
The new facility will play an integral role in Amazon’s plans to begin full-scale production launches and early enterprise customer pilots in 2024. Project Kuiper will eventually serve tens of millions of customers, including residential, enterprise and government customers operating in places without reliable broadband.
With Project Kuiper constructing and operating the facility in the state, Space Florida continues to reach broad manufacturing, assembly, and processing capabilities, and connects those capabilities with the state’s highly accessible research, development, workforce, and training capabilities.
About Space Florida’s Launch and Landing Facility
What was once a runway primarily used for government operations, the LLF has transformed into a gateway for aerospace innovation, exploration research, manufacturing, and testing. In 2022, Space Florida led the completion of a new mile-long utility corridor—which paved the way for ground leasing opportunities such as Amazon’s Project Kuiper—and began construction of an additional 1.3-mile segment with expected final completion in 2024. Development at the LLF ensures Florida’s leadership in the space economy and exploration will continue, bringing new capabilities and customers to the busiest spaceport in the world. Space Florida’s LLF improvements allow for expanded commercial use while bolstering military and government operations, enabling future projects, fostering industrial growth, and attracting private capital investment.
Space Florida Media Contact
Anna Alexopoulos Farrar
Project Kuiper PR, Amazon
About Space Florida
Space Florida is where leading aerospace companies get everything they need to see their new ideas take off. As that state’s aerospace finance and development authority, Space Florida brings a mix of unrivaled experience, unmatched financial tools, and unbeatable location to the table by providing critical business financing opportunities for the aerospace industry, managing infrastructure investment in the state’s spaceport system, and facilitating research and development, workforce, education, and investment programs.