Space Florida, Blue Origin Close to Deal to Manufacture Rockets in Brevard County

New Shepard flight test (Credit: Blue Origin)
New Shepard flight test (Credit: Blue Origin)

UPDATE, Aug. 24, 2015:  Jeff Bezos is set to make a “significant announcement concerning the commercial launch industry” at Cape Canaveral on Sept. 15.

Florida Today reports that Space Florida and Blue Origin are close to a deal for Jeff Bezos’ company to build rockets in Brevard County and launch them from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The agency’s board today gave its approval for staff to finalize the terms of financing and lease agreements with the private space company founded by Amazon.com CEO and billionaire Jeff Bezos, which aims to lower the cost of launching people to orbit.

The board meeting’s discussion referred to the deal only by its code name of Project Panther, which FLORIDA TODAY sources have previously confirmed involves Blue Origin.

Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello said he expected more details to be made public “in the next month or so.”

Howard Haug, Space Florida’s treasurer and chief investment officer, said the deal represented more than $200 million of investment and several hundred jobs.

The funding will include $18 million combined from the Florida Department of Transportation, which supports aerospace infrastructure, and from the North Brevard Economic Development Zone.

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