Space Florida to work with a startup space company
Space Florida, the aerospace economic development agency of the state of Florida is looking to spur development within Space Coast. The agency’s board of directors has approved a 750,000 USD loan to be granted to York Space Systems, a startup satellite builder who is targeting to produce 200 small satellites per year.
A boost for Space Coast
As part of the deal, York Space is to create 24 jobs within Space Coast, a region in Florida designated for aeronautics and space tech development. The company is also expected to invest $20 million USD in the state over a period of five years. The investment is to be in the areas of production and testing for satellites and related technology.
Space Florida CEO Frank DiBello mentioned in an interview that “York is an “emerging company in the marketplace, and one we’re very, very pleased to have the opportunity to attract,”
York Space Systems intends to manufacture low-cost satellites on a common platform making it customisable to the needs of various government and commercial space missions. This business model diverges from conventional satellite manufacturing practice. In the past, manufacturers have built large, highly customized satellites in small numbers. These satellites would cost upwards of 100 million USD.
York’s miniature satellites will individually weigh roughly 150kg. They are expected to cost within 675,000USD to 1.6 million USD. In the past, the startup has partnered with the United States Army for the launch of a prototype mission.
Once finalized, the agreement provides York Space Systems with the loan amount in three installments. The loan would be tied to the company making 2 million USD. As a result, York is expected to locate a portion its operations for design, production, testing and/or integration within the area. Space Florida would also hold an “observer” role on the startup’s board.
For five years, the startup is expected to make interest-only payments pegged at 5.5% annually. After the period, Space Florida could be repaid or would be given an ownership stake in the startup.