OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture between satellite-based internet provider OneWeb and space company Airbus, has broken ground on its $85M high-volume satellite manufacturing factory in Exploration Park, Florida.
The project will be built in association with the state of Florida and Space Florida. Its first order will include the production of 900 communications satellites for OneWeb’s low Earth orbit constellation.
The facility, to be near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center [pictured], will incorporate advanced automation, test equipment and data acquisition capabilities to reduce assembly times and analyse factory performance and process improvements. According to OneWeb Satellites, the facility will be the world’s first high-volume satellite manufacturing facility.
Greg Wyler, OneWeb founder and executive chairman, said: “This facility is a pivotal step toward our mission to build a new global knowledge infrastructure, accessible to everyone.
“Over the past year, and thanks to the energizing support of our partners, we’ve greatly accelerated our technical progress. With this facility, we will be able to continuously iterate on the design of our satellites, launch new satellites within hours of completion and create significant opportunity in the US.”
OneWeb Satellites CEO, Brian Holz, said: “This factory will usher in a new era of innovation for satellite design and manufacturing that will enable us to lower overall program costs and shorten acquisition timelines for our customers to less than a year. These advancements will allow our customers to get to market and create value much faster than today.”
The facility is expected to start autonomous assembly line production, integration and satellite testing in the end of 2017.
The project is anticipated to lead to the creation of around 250 direct manufacturing and engineering jobs.
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