Boeing announced June 19 that it’d move its headquarters for its space division from Washington, DC to Florida — as the multinational aircraft manufacturer is shifting its focus on space exploration and commercialization.
“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,” said Boeing Defense, Space & Security President, and Chief Executive Officer 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.”
Caret is referring to the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Patrick Air Force Base that are all located in the Florida area—all of which whom largely contributed to the United States’ early achievements in space.
Dennis Muilenburg, chief executive and president of Boeing, announced the headquarters move from Arlington, Virginia, to Titusville, Florida, in a speech at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. “This is a major transition for us as a company as we set up our headquarters in the Florida Space Coast region,” he said. “The momentum and energy along the Florida Space Coast, the amount of investment that is happening, is extraordinary. So we’re honored to be part of that energy and momentum, and we hope to add to it with this relocation.”
Boeing’s move to Florida is influenced with its partnership with NASA in its mission to send the next man and first woman to the moon codenamed Project Artemis.
According to Boeing’s statement, their work involves in delivering the first two core stages of the world’s most powerful rocket, NASA’s Space Launch System—an ISS-like platform that orbits the moon to serve as a transition point from the Earth to the moon, Mars, and farther. Boeing is the prime contractor for the Space Launch System and has announced that an uncrewed test flight is still on schedule and will launch next year.
Also, it will also involve Boeing’s assistance with NASA’s plans with commercializing the ISS for research and development. Particularly, NASA will offer researchers and commercial companies space trips to the ISS to develop their own technology and experiments in relation to space activities, which would help further NASA’s own research as well. The trip would last a maximum of 30 days.
“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,” Boeing Space and Launch Senior Vice President Jim Chilton said.
The move will also be more convenient with Boeing’s plans to develop its mission integration and launch system operations that are partnered and collaborated with the Air Force nearby at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the 45th Space Wing at Patrick Air Force Base. It will also aid to strengthen relationships with the Air Force Space Command in Colorado and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The statement also indicated that their move will “have no impact on Boeing’s space operations in other states, including California, Texas, Alabama, Colorado and Louisiana.” Boeing spokesman Dan Beck also told SpaceNews that the move will involve only a “small number” of people, led by Chilton, his executive team and support staff.
“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,” Chilton said in a Boeing statement.
“Now, as we see all of these programs transitioning from development to operation, now is the right time for us to make that transition,” he said of the headquarters move.
Boeing is one of the dozen companies working alongside NASA in the ambitious goal of offering access to low-orbit Earth. Other companies include Elon Musk’s Space X, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, and many others. Particularly, Space X has already conducted an unmanned test flight for its human-carrying shuttles earlier this year.
“We expect to see a viable space ecosystem, low Earth orbit ecosystem, evolve over the next decade,” Chilton said. “This is a big point of transition for The Boeing Company, another defining moment for us.”