Helium balloon used in World View test flight

World View on Feb. 20 flew the first parafoil from the edge of space at a record-breaking height of 102,200 feet.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors has approved a $14.5 million economic development agreement with the space exploration company World View.

Supervisor Ally Miller voted against the plan while supervisors Ray Carroll, Richard Elías, Sharon Bronson and Ramón Valadez voted in favor.

The plan provides the county would construct a 120,000-square-foot corporate headquarters, manufacturing facility and space port on Aerospace Parkway south of Raytheon Missile Systems and Tucson International Airport.

The company has about 25 workers but says it plans to expand to as many as 400 employees.

World View would pay back the county’s $14.5 million investment over 20 years of lease payments totaling more than $23.6 million.

The company was founded in 2013 by Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum, both original crew members in the Biosphere 2 experiment.

Astronaut Mark Kelly and veteran NASA scientist Alan Stern also work for World View.