MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - AST&Science moving corporate headquarters to Midland’s Spaceport Business Park, and opening new satellite manufacturing facility.

As part of an economic development agreement with the Midland Development Corporation, the “New Space” company will create 160 new jobs in a diversified, high-tech industry in Midland.

In an agreement pending approval by Midland City Council, the Midland Development Corporation has partnered with the space technology company AST&Science to bring their corporate headquarters and satellite manufacturing facility to Midland.

The new facility will be in the MDC’s 85,000 sq. ft. facility at the Spaceport Business Park, where they will design and build Low-Earth orbit satellites.

The Midland International Air and Space Port’s license to launch horizontal craft is essential to the manufacturing, testing, and implementation of the satellites. Initial tests and launches are anticipated to begin in 2019.

“Our revolutionary patented technology will change the way satellites are manufactured, launched and used. From Midland, we will scale up quickly to produce high volumes of low-cost ultra-powerful LEO satellite platforms. This will open up an astonishing range of applications not previously possible with traditional satellite manufacturing techniques,” said AST&Science chairman and CEO Abel Avellan.

The Midland facility will augment AST&Science’s existing engineering and manufacturing facilities in Maryland and Europe.

The company expects to make capital, personal property, and inventory investments up to $30 million in the Midland facility over the next five years.

Ultimately, up to 100,000 satellite space modules, or Microns, will be manufactured in Midland annually. Microns will be utilized in a wide array of commercial and defense applications.