Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Jan. 17 that Made In Space will relocate its corporate headquarters from Silicon Valley to Jacksonville.
Made In Space develops space manufacturing technology and was the first company to manufacture hardware outside of Earth.
It has operated in Jacksonville since 2015 at 8226 Philips Highway in the Baymeadows Business Center.
Frank DiBello, president and CEO of Space Florida; Mike Snyder, Made In Space chief engineer; and Austin Jordan, Made In Space communications manager, along with Made In Space President and CEO Andrew Rush were present at the announcement at the Made In Space offices.
DeSantis said with the move, Made In Space will invest more than $3 million into the new facility.
“This really is the foundation of which we’re going to build and continue to build the transformational future of space,” said Rush.
Part of the reason to relocate is Jacksonville’s proximity to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center, joining other aerospace companies that have relocated some operations to Florida. Those include Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
Made In Space was founded in 2010 in Mountain View, California.
The city approved a permit Oct. 4 for the company to expand into 18,207 square feet of space at a cost of almost $550,000. Before that expansion, it operated in 19,381 square feet, bringing its total footprint to 37,000 square feet in Jacksonville.
“I’m proud of what we offer in Florida. I think we take pride in having a positive business climate,” DeSantis said. “We want companies like this to succeed because we think that’s more opportunities for the citizens of Florida.”
Made In Space also will add jobs in Jacksonville. Rush said the company already has hired 50 employees, and expects to hire more.
The Jacksonville facility can employ 150 employees, he said. There are more than 70 currently in Jacksonville.
“By expanding our presence here in Florida, we expect to capitalize on the value offered by Florida’s business climate and its position as a world leader in aerospace research and investment,” Rush said.
The 16 Jacksonville job postings include “spacecraft lead” with at least eight years of experience “participating in breakthrough manufacturing technologies for space and terrestrial spin-offs.”
In August, Made In Space listed 17 job openings in Jacksonville, including business development for in-space manufacturing and assembly and for space-enabled materials.
Jobs included engineers, a project manager and a human resources manager.
In July, Made In Space received a $73 million NASA contract to demonstrate Archinaut, the company’s autonomous robotic manufacturing and assembly platform, on a flight mission.
“The difference between now and when the space program was big during the Cold War is the amount of private sector involvement. It’s just incredible,” DeSantis said. “I think Made In Space is just an example of that.”
The corporate headquarters relocation to Jacksonville is a homecoming for Rush, who received his bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of North Florida.
Editor Karen Brune Mathis contributed to this report.