Spaceflight Insider

Coleman Aerospace opens new facility on Space Coast

Dan Kelly speaks at the ribbon cutting for the new AR Coleman Aerospace facility

Dan Kelly, the Interim general manger of Aerojet Rocketdyne Coleman Aerospace, speaks at the Feb. 24, 2017, ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Aerojet Rocketdyne Coleman Aerospace facility. Photo Credit: Michael Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — On Feb. 24, 2017, Coleman Aerospace unveiled its new Space Coast Integration & Test Facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The new site was previously used by the U.S. Air Force for rocket processing.

According to Aerojet Rocketdyne, the Air Force Space Command’s 45th Space Wing made the 15,000 square-foot facility in the Cape’s Area 57 available for Space Florida to sublease to a company that would create jobs for the Space Coast.

In cooperation with Space Florida, Coleman Aerospace, which was acquired by Aerojet Rocketdyne, refurbished the building so it could be used once again for production. The company will be using it to assemble target missiles, which is work that was previously done in Yuma, Arizona.

“We are excited to officially establish our Space Coast presence today, marking the culmination of years of collaboration that brought this facility and its needed capabilities to fruition,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. “We look forward to working with Space Florida and the Air Force Space Command’s 45th Space Wing in this new facility.”

Notable guests in attendance were Stan Thomas of the Missile Defense Agency, Col. Matthew Wallace of the U.S. Air Force Space Command’s 45th Space Wing, Jim Kuzma of Space Florida, representatives from the office of Sen. Bill Nelson, Congressman Bill Posey, Congressman Ted Yoho, and Senator Dorothy Hukill.

“With the opening of this innovative facility, we are building on our expertise as a premier launch vehicle provider for missile defense testing,” said Dan Kelly, who will serve as interim general manager of Aerojet Rocketdyne Coleman Aerospace.

Aerojet Rocketdyne officially acquired Coleman Aerospace for $15 million from L3 Technologies Inc. on Feb. 24, 2017. Coleman Aerospace is an Orlando, Florida, company that has been providing ballistic missile rockets and launch services for the Missile Defense Agency. The aerospace organization began launching rockets in 1995 and has completed 29 successful flights in 22 years.




Heather Smith's fascination for space exploration – started at the tender age of twelve while she was on a sixth-grade field trip in Kenner, Louisiana, walking through a mock-up of the International Space Station and seeing the “space potty” (her terminology has progressed considerably since that time) – she realized at this point that her future lay in the stars. Smith has come to realize that very few people have noticed how much spaceflight technology has improved their lives. She has since dedicated herself to correcting this problem. Inspired by such classic literature as Anne Frank’s Diary, she has honed her writing skills and has signed on as The Spaceflight Group’s coordinator for the organization’s social media efforts.

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