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Boeing brings new jobs to Florida's Space Coast

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 6:58 PM EDT, Mon October 31, 2011
Boeing Co. says it will run a commercial space operation from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Boeing Co. says it will run a commercial space operation from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Boeing partners with Kennedy Space Center to establish new headquarters
  • The move is expected to bring 140-550 jobs to Florida
  • Florida congresswoman calls partnership "welcomed news"

(CNN) -- A partnership between NASA's Kennedy Space Center and Boeing will bring more than 100 jobs to Florida's Space Coast, the governor announced on Monday.

"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," Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement.

Boeing's plans include manufacturing and testing its Crew Space Transportation-100 spacecraft and locating its Commercial Crew program headquarters at Cape Canaveral.

The move is expected to create 140 jobs in Florida by June 2013 and 550 by December 2015.

Republican Rep. Sandy Adams called the announcement "welcomed news" as she recounted the devastating job losses her 24th Congressional District has suffered since the space shuttle program ended.

It was a little more than a year ago that NASA laid off more than 1,200 workers, even after a bill that extended the retirement date of the shuttle program from February to July 2011.

Boeing, NASA team up to build spaceships

Thousands more, including shuttle workers and contractors, lost their jobs when the program ended. Despite the massive job losses, state and federal leaders have worked hard to preserve the history of the space center and produce new jobs that will secure economic growth for years to come.

"This marks the beginning of the vibrance of the economy of the Space Coast," Republican Rep. Bill Posey said.

NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Beth Garver thanked the Obama administration and Congress for their support and called the agreement "the latest sign of tangible progress" as the space center transitions from a government-only facility to a commercial space port.

The partnership is "also part of a larger commitment on the part of NASA and the Obama administration to bring jobs and economic development to the Space Coast by building on all of Kennedy's world-class launch capabilities," Garver said.

"The Boeing Co. is helping lead the way in the next chapter of human spaceflight, and I am proud that they chose our community for their home," Adams said.

The CST-100 spacecraft is a reusable capsule-shaped aircraft that has a crew module and service module, a statement from the governor said.

Boeing has planned test flights from Cape Canaveral in 2015.

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