Florida's Space Coast will be the new home of Boeing's Space and Launch division


OSIRIS-Rex launch from from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, 2018 - PHOTO BY JOEY ROULETTE
  • photo by Joey Roulette
  • OSIRIS-Rex launch from from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, 2018
Boeing plans to move its Space and Launch Division division to nearby Titusville, the company announced in a news release Wednesday.

Space and Launch is a division of Boeing Defense, Space and Security. The division will relocate from its current headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

"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," says Defense, Space and Security president and CEO 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."

Boeing officials claimed the timing of the move makes sense for multiple reasons, including the deployment from there of its X-37B, an un-crewed, reusable space vehicle designed for long-duration missions for the U.S. Air Force, and the CST-100 Starliner, which, as Boeing notes in the release, is preparing for two test flights later this year ahead of operational missions to the International Space Station that are set to begin in early 2020.

The relocation is expected to be completed by next year.

"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," says Jim Chilton, senior vice president of the Space and Launch Division. "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 move was welcomed by Florida's top elected officials.

"Florida continues to be a leader in space exploration and development, serving as the United States' gateway to the stars," U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio says in a news release. "I welcome Boeing's decision to move their Space and Launch headquarters to the Sunshine State."

The company said the move will not affect Boeing's space operations in other states, such as Texas, California, Alabama, Colorado and Louisiana.

"Boeing will continue to be a dynamic space presence in its existing locations, contributing to the vitality of those aerospace hubs, collaborating with our regional partners and inspiring future generations of space engineers, technicians and innovators," Chilton says.

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