Sept. 28, 2020 (Courtesy of the Jacksonville Business Journal)
Space conglomerate Redwire, which acquired Jacksonville-based Made In Space in June, is moving its headquarters to the First Coast, a move that could see it expand its footprint and workforce.
“It’s really a matter of when, not if, as far as expanding the operation,” company spokesperson Austin Jordan told the Business Journal. “With the kind of maturation of some of the existing satellite program that we have proposed and confirmed with some of our customers, I think it’s definitely a strong likelihood that we’ll see more infrastructure here in Jacksonville.”
Made in Space has operated in Jacksonville since 2015, after being founded in Silicon Valley in 2010. It officially moved its headquarters here earlier this year, a move heralded by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“Made In Space’s move to Florida is more evidence of Florida’s success and growth in the aerospace industry,” he said in January.
Its June acquisition by Redwire was seen as positioning Made in Space for growth. Redwire was created by private equity firm AE Industrial Partners, combining the Jacksonville company as well as Adcole Space and Deep Space Systems, both of which were acquired by the private equity firm earlier this year.
“To truly realize the full potential for space exploration, innovation must change the economics,” Redwire CEO Peter Cannito said when the acquisition of Made In Space was announced. “Made In Space has been driving these innovations and is now positioned to revolutionize the industry.”
As a part of the acquisition, Made In Space CEO Andrew Rush became Redwire chief operating officer and Made In Space Chief Engineer Mike Snyder became Redwire’s chief technology officer, with both also keeping their Made In Space jobs.
Redwire’s other companies — Maryland-based Adcole and Colorado-based Deep Space —will be keeping their operations where they are, Jordan said, with Jacksonville serving as a command center.
“This will be the flagship here in Jacksonville, so whether it be major technological programs or major innovation work, I would not be surprised to see that start here,” he said.
Redwire also has facilities in California and Massachusetts.
In a statement, Redwire CEO Peter Cannito said having the headquarters on the First Coast will make Jacksonville “the center of our innovation ecosystem.”
“By strengthening our presence in Florida,” he said, “we will have access to a skilled aerospace workforce, strategic partnerships, and operational infrastructure to support our growth.”
The move will also elevate Jacksonville in the space industry, Jordan said.
“A Jacksonville-based company is doing innovative work to support NASA, whether it be the moon-to-Mars pathway or tipping point technologies like Archinaut One,” he said. “Jacksonville now has a touch point within a national conversation about technology development.”