James Dean is reporting for the Florida Today infosite that Space Florida is negotiating with an undisclosed company to bring a new system to Cape Canaveral to demonstrate an ability to perform frequent launches.
If it bases operations on the Space Coast, the company referred to by the code name of Project First Down over four years would bring an estimated 254 jobs with an average salary of $80,000. The company is a “credit-worthy, going concern with industry experience” and is evaluating multiple states with active spaceports, said Howard Haug, Space Florida's executive vice president, treasurer and chief investment officer. “Competition among the various states is keen,” he said. “The company expects to select a location within the next couple of weeks, thus time is of the essence.”
Haug said the company would commit to the Cape if Space Florida partnered in a $30 million investment that includes a deal to finance long-lead equipment worth $13 million. Space Florida would finance the purchase of the unspecified equipment, for which the company would make a deposit and regular lease payments over four years. After that, the lease would continue or the equipment would be sold, with the company responsible for any shortfall in the proceeds. Plans for the remaining $17 million investment continue to be negotiated.