Boeing announced it will relocate the headquarters of its Space and Launch division to Titusville, in large part the result of President Donald Trump's commitment to returning America to the forefront of space exploration and to continue revitalizing Florida’s Space Coast.
Boeing president and CEO Dennis Muilenburg made the announcement Wednesday during the JFK Space Summit at the JFK Library.
"The momentum and energy along the Florida Space Coast, the investment that is happening, is extraordinary and we're honored to be part of the energy and momentum and we hope to add to it with this relocation," Muilenburg said.
Space and Launch, a division of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, currently is headquartered in Arlington, Va., but Boeing officials believe a move to Florida "will strengthen collaboration and integration across its portfolio."
“Looking to the future, this storied Florida space community will be the center of gravity for Boeing’s space programs as we continue to build our company’s leadership beyond gravity,” said Boeing Defense, Space & Security President and Chief Executive Officer Leanne Caret. “The time is right for us to locate our space headquarters where so much of our space history was made over the past six decades and where so much history awaits.”
Former Gov. Rick Scott, who pushed Space Coast renewal hard during his Senate campaign against incumbent Bill Nelson, released a similar statement immediately after the Boeing announcement: “Our state is proud to have Boeing. ... The space industry has long been an important and iconic part of Florida’s history and economic success, and with our incredible business climate and low taxes, it’s no surprise that Boeing chose our great state. Today’s announcement is great news for our growing Space Coast community and will create more jobs for hardworking Florida families.”
Donald Trump and Boeing have a long and close relationship. Though for security purposes the president flies aboard Air Force One now, his private jet is a Boeing 757 built in 1991, the 8th of the most expensive planes in the world. It would fetch about $100 million on the market today. But that apparently isn't such a lot of money for a "decked out" plane like Trump's. The New York Times quotes a former Boeing CEO: “Buying a 25-year-old 757 is like buying a bag of Cheetos. It’s a lot of food for a low price.
In announcing the relocation of the space division headquarters to a region that includes Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Patrick Air Force Base, Boeing leaders said the timing of the move makes sense for multiple reasons:
The Boeing-built X-37B uncrewed, reusable space vehicle continues to perform record-setting, long-duration missions for the U.S. Air Force.
Boeing’s satellite programs anticipate increased tempo in local payload processing and launch activity.
The company is enhancing its focus on mission integration and launch system operations in collaboration with Air Force partners nearby at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the 45th Space Wing at Patrick Air Force Base, and strengthening relationships with Air Force Space Command in Colorado and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The CST-100 Starliner commercial spacecraft is preparing for two flight tests later this year ahead of operational missions to the International Space Station beginning in 2020.
Boeing continues to achieve milestones toward delivery of the first two core stages of the world’s most powerful rocket, NASA’s Space Launch System, for uncrewed and crewed missions to the moon’s orbit leading to the first crewed lunar surface landing in 50 years, and then to Mars.
The International Space Station is poised to follow NASA’s road map for commercialization of low Earth orbit, even as this national laboratory is positioned for continued scientific and technological research until at least 2030.
The United Launch Alliance joint venture continues to meet vital launch needs for national security, scientific and telecommunications missions through its Atlas and Delta rockets, while entering the formal qualification phase for the new Vulcan Centaur launch vehicle.
Boeing is studying and advancing future space capabilities in collaboration with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
“Boeing has been a dominant presence on the Space Coast for six decades, and this move represents a continuation of that legacy and future commitment,” said Jim Chilton, senior vice president of Space and Launch. “Expanding our Boeing presence on the Space Coast brings tremendous value for our commercial and government space programs through focused leadership, strategic investment, customer proximity and additional contributions to the vitality of the region.”
The headquarters move will have no impact on Boeing’s space operations in other states, including California, Texas, Alabama, Colorado and Louisiana.
Division spokesman Dan Beck said the move will begin later this summer into an existing Boeing facility in Titusville, at 100 Boeing Way.
Meanwhile, “Boeing will continue to be a dynamic space presence in all its existing locations ...” Chilton said.
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