Sen. Nelson tours Blue Origin, OneWeb facilities under construction near KSC

Blue Origin building rocket factory, OneWeb building satellite facility

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – From the dawn of the space age, rockets have always launched from Florida's Space Coast. Now rockets and satellites will soon be built in Central Florida.

"The Cape is coming alive," said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) on Wednesday while touring Space Florida's Exploration Park near the Kennedy Space Center.

"We are going to see several launches a week," Nelson added, saying the Space Coast will be bustling upon completion of two new facilities.

Blue Origin's New Glenn rockets will be built in a 750,000 square-foot facility at Exploration Park. The rocket factory will also serve as mission control.

"Both launch control and mission control, from right here, looking 10 miles away," Nelson said.

Construction is expected to complete by the end of the year.

Just across the street at Exploration Park, OneWeb, in its new building, will build more than 2,000 satellites at a rate of 15  a week.

Tying it all together, the satellites built in OneWeb's facility will be launched by the reusable rockets built in Blue Origin's facility next-door.

"Now, the Cape is not just a launch facility. The Cape is a manufacturing facility as well," Nelson said.

Gov. Rick Scott attended the groundbreaking for OneWeb Satellites in March. It's expected to be complete next year.

Combined, the buildings will employ more than 500 people.

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