2021 BIG DEALS Central Florida’s top innovation and growth transactions (by Alex Soderstrom)

On Sept. 27, the “Kraken” was unleashed in Central Florida.

The once-secret initiative — previously known by the code name Project Kraken — of Terran Orbital Corp.’s plan to build a 660,000-square-foot satellite manufacturing facility at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport was unveiled by Gov. Ron DeSantis in September. Terran Orbital — headquartered in Boca Raton and Torino, Italy — will be able to produce 1,000 satellites each year at the plant on Florida’s Space Coast.

The satellite plant will create 1,200 jobs on the Space Coast by fourth-quarter 2025, according to Terran Orbital CEO Marc Bell. These jobs are particularly valuable in the region because they will result in higher wages for local workers. The average annual wage of the jobs will be $84,000, more than the Palm Bay metro area’s average annual wage of $51,740, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The prospect of the Space Coast luring another big satellite maker to the region first surfaced in March, when statewide spaceport authority Space Florida was granted permission by its board to enter into negotiations with the then-unnamed firm. As part of an agreement with Terran Orbital, Space Florida will provide conduit financing for the $300 million project.

Terran Orbital picked the Space Coast as an expansion site because of the hub of aerospace companies around the Launch and Landing Facility, the region’s skilled workforce and Florida’s “business-friendly environment,” co-founder and CEO Marc Bell said.