A big announcement set for next week could set the stage for a new era on the Space Coast, state leaders say.
Blue Origin is expected to reveal plans to build rockets near the Kennedy Space Center. Until now, the Space Coast has primarily been known as the place that launches rockets to space.
State leaders with Space Florida, however, say Brevard County should be known for more in the space industry.
Experts say Blue Origin's plans to build rockets could change the perception that the Space Coast is traditionally used to process and launch rockets and spacecraft.
Blue Origin is a privately funded aerospace manufacturer set up by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos.
The high-end jobs of design, engineering, manufacturing and assembly were done elsewhere.
Some of that will change next week with the anticipated announcement.
"It's very significant because it points the way to a diversification of the industry, which is really what we want to see in this area," said Frank DiBello, president and CEO of Space Florida. "It's not just diversification so that we're no longer just launching, but we're going to be building rockets and building satellites and building the whole supply chain for the space industry. That's where real economic strength comes from."
State leaders say they've been successful in other areas, as well.
NASA's Orion crew capsule was the first spacecraft to ever be assembled in Florida. Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner crew capsule will also be built in Brevard County.
Blue Origin is expected to make its plans official during a news conference next week at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.