The state of Florida is taking over one of the world's longest runways in an effort to grow commercial space business.

NASA is expected to hand over the Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility to Space Florida at a signing ceremony Monday. State leaders hope the runway will lead to more jobs for Brevard County.

Nearly four years have passed since the last space shuttle touched down at on the 15,000-foot runway, and the agency Space Florida hopes to put it to new commercial uses.

“Eventually the space tourism is going to be real space tourism where tourists come to go into space," Dale Ketcham of Space Florida said. "And we’re quite confident that we’re going to be able to get the lion’s share of that market. That’s our goal.”

Space Florida says the runway is attractive to companies interested in launching and landing their spacecraft horizontally, much like an airplane. Switzerland-based Swiss Space Systems is hoping to use the runway in the years ahead.

“We will have a small SAT launcher off of our SOAR spacecraft that will launch small satellites into orbit, and in many years we hope to launch passengers into sub-orbit as well," said Laura Seward Forczyk, manager for Swiss Space Systems USA.

Their goal is to start out small, with micro-gravity flights launching from the shuttle landing facility in 2016. Economic leaders say the deal will create more than 200 Brevard County jobs over the next six years.

The Shuttle Landing Facility is expensive to maintain, so Space Florida is basically getting the runway rent free. The state plans to invest $5 million dollars into the facility over the next couple of years for upgrades.

Before space tourism really takes off, the state will rent out the runway to other companies, in order to pay the bills.

“NASCAR, Bentley ... there have been a number of automobile companies that really want to take advantage because you really have got an extraordinary capable slab of concrete out there," Ketcham said.

It's a slab of concrete that's seen a lot of history, and perhaps will continue to make history on the Space Coast.