Morgan Stanley’s Space Team projects the flourishing $350 billion global space industry could triple by 2040, topping the $1 trillion plateau.
And Brevard County’s expanding space and aerospace sectors may just be warming up their engines, said Brian Baluta, vice president of communications and partner relations for the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast.
“I think we’re really on the edge of liftoff. And that’s not to discount anything that’s going on now,” Baluta said.
“What we have happening now will be the envy of any community. But it’s to say that we’re on the cusp of a whole lot more,” he said.
Tuesday morning, Baluta delivered a speech touting Space Coast economic growth to the Melbourne Regional Chamber’s Small Business Council. He asked attendees to “think about how our community is positioned to capture a piece of this trillion-dollar pie.”
To that end, Baluta pointed to a trio of high-tech companies that recently announced plans to go public:
• Terran Orbital wants to build the world’s largest satellite manufacturing facility at the former Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center.
The $300 million, 660,000-square-foot headquarters and factory are expected to create 2,100 jobs by the end of 2025, with average salaries of $84,000.
Baluta said Terran Orbital will go public on the New York Stock Exchange with a valuation of $1.8 billion.
• Eve, a Melbourne-based subsidiary of Embraer, will be listed on the NYSE later this year under ticker symbol EVEX.
The company hopes to develop futuristic electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, which Baluta likened with “air taxis.” He said Eve’s valuation is $2.9 billion.
“What they like about Florida is not only the business environment and the talent environment, but they think this is a good market for utilizing these air taxis,” Baluta said.
“One application would be you’d fly into Orlando’s airport, and you get onto one of these air taxis and it takes you to the port, the second-busiest cruise port in the world,” he said.
• Sidus Space, a Cape Canaveral spinoff of Craig Technologies, went public last month on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
“Carol Craig is heading Sidus. And of the 3,000 companies on Nasdaq, I think about 30 were started by women. So that’s a pretty cool situation,” Baluta said.
The company focuses on commercial satellite design, manufacture, launch and data collection. Baluta said the company’s valuation is $192 million.
“Pretty exciting time between Eve, Sidus Space and Terran Orbital to have three publicly traded companies pop up like that,” he told the chamber audience.
Baluta also highlighted a series of additional Brevard economic-grown announcements, including Space Perspective. The space tourism company plans to build a headquarters-manufacturing complex at Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville.
The plan: Use a 300-foot-diameter balloon to lift people aboard a pressurized capsule up to 100,000 feet before splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico.
Officials expect Space Perspective to create about 240 jobs with average salaries of $80,000 by the end of 2026.
“This is great. Because it’s not only just space tourism, which is something that we’d like to see more of in the next decade or so,” Baluta said.
“Our relationship with space, in terms of accessibility, is really going to change,” he said.
Blue Origin’s direct employment has reached 1,000 workers in Brevard, Baluta said, with more than $1.5 billion in capital investment and more than 1 million square feet of manufacturing, test and launch facility space.
Likewise, he said Embraer has bolstered its payroll from roughly 250 to 1,000 workers at Melbourne Orlando International Airport.
Baluta also pointed out U-Haul’s Growth Index announcement last week: Palm Bay-Melbourne is the nation’s No. 3 hottest growth market, in terms of net gain of one-way trucks coming into town.
Palm Bay-Melbourne clocked in at No. 23 in U-Haul’s 2020 rankings.
“We rocketed up 20 spaces in the last couple years. This is encouraging,” Baluta said.