Blackstar Orbital commits to manufacturing at Sierra Vista Airport

SIERRA VISTA — The Arizona Commerce Authority announced Wednesday that Blackstar Orbital has committed to development of a new manufacturing and testing facility in Sierra Vista.

Blackstar Orbital plans to invest $7.1 million in the facility, which is expected to create about 50 new jobs.

The 45,000-square-foot facility will include a 25,000-square-foot hanger for the drones the company produces, with initial production capacity planned for 15 spacecraft per year.

The facility, to be located at the Sierra Vista Airport, is expected to be operational by 2026.

“This new facility in Sierra Vista is a landmark development for BlackStar Orbital,” Christopher Jannette, president of BlackStar Orbital, said in a prepared release. “The strategic location and robust support from local authorities like the City of Sierra Vista and the Arizona Commerce Authority have been instrumental in bringing this project to fruition. Our BlackStar Spacecraft, developed and produced here, will not only advance our mission in aerospace innovation but also strengthen Arizona’s position as a leading hub in the space industry.”

On its website, Blackstar Orbital describes its drone product as a “space plane-satellite hybrid,” that can be used for observation, communication, science research and defense.

The company is headquartered in Titusville, Fla.