Boeing's space, launch division HQ coming to Florida's Space Coast

Headquarters currently located in Virginia

By Brianna Volz - Web producer

TITUSVILLE, Fla. - Boeing is moving its headquarters for its Space and Launch division to Florida's Space Coast, according to company officials.

Officials announced Wednesday that the headquarters, which is currently located in Arlington, Virginia, is being relocated to Titusville in an effort by Boeing to strengthen collaboration and integration across its portfolio, according to a news release.

[RELATED: Rocket critical in sending Americans to space from Florida arrives on Space CoastMeet NASA astronauts who will be first to launch on Boeing, SpaceX spacecraft]

“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,” Boeing Defense, Space and Security President and Chief Executive Officer Leanne Caret said. “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.”

The Space and Launch division falls under a division of Boeing Defense, Space and Security, according to a news release. Company officials said the timing of relocating it to a region that includes Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Patrick Air Force Base makes sense for the following reasons:

  • The Boeing-built X-37B uncrewed, reusable space vehicle continues to perform record-setting, long-duration missions for the U.S. Air Force.
  • Boeing’s satellite programs anticipate increased tempo in local payload processing and launch activity.
  • The company is enhancing its focus on mission integration and launch system operations in collaboration with Air Force partners nearby at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the 45th Space Wing at Patrick Air Force Base, and strengthening relationships with Air Force Space Command in Colorado and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
  • The CST-100 Starliner commercial spacecraft is preparing for two flight tests later this year ahead of operational missions to the International Space Station beginning in 2020.
  • Boeing continues to achieve milestones toward delivery of the first two core stages of the world’s most powerful rocket, NASA’s Space Launch System, for uncrewed and crewed missions to the moon’s orbit leading to the first crewed lunar surface landing in 50 years, and then to Mars.
  • The International Space Station is poised to follow NASA’s road map for commercialization of low Earth orbit, even as this national laboratory is positioned for continued scientific and technological research until at least 2030.
  • The United Launch Alliance joint venture continues to meet vital launch needs for national security, scientific and telecommunications missions through its Atlas and Delta rockets, while entering the formal qualification phase for the new Vulcan Centaur launch vehicle.
  • Boeing is studying and advancing future space capabilities in collaboration with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Jim Chilton, the senior vice president of Space and Launch, said Boeing has been a dominant presence on the Space Coast for six decades, and the company is looking forward to continuing that legacy.

“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.

The move will not affect Boeing's space operations in Texas, California, Texas, Alabama, Colorado and Louisiana.

“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,” Chilton said.

Elected officials, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, are excited about the new opportunities the move could bring to the Space Coast.

Sen. Rick Scott said he's also pleased with Boeing's decision to relocate the headquarters to the Space Coast.

"Our state is proud to have Boeing officially move their space division to Florida’s Space Coast. The space industry has long been an important and iconic part of Florida’s history and economic success, and with our incredible business climate and low taxes, it’s no surprise that Boeing chose our great state," Scott said. "Today’s announcement is great news for our growing Space Coast community and will create more jobs for hardworking Florida families.” 

A Boeing spokesman said the relocation currently does not call for any additional construction than what's already planned for Boeing's Titusville location. For now, the relocation doesn’t mean the company will be hiring for any additional positions.

The move means Chilton and members of his executive leadership team and support staff will be based in Titusville after the headquarters move, along with employees already in that location, according to Boeing.

A spokesman for Boeing said the company hopes to complete the move by the end of summer.

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