Space Florida has responded to a negative legislative review that found the agency to be adrift by trying to turn lemons into lemonade. In a press release, it welcomed the review and deflected criticism of its handling of its work on a new launch complex, LC-36, at Cape Canaveral. The official press release follows.
SPACE FLORIDA PRESS RELEASE
Space Florida President, Steve Kohler, today announced he is pleased with the findings of the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA).
“We were happy to support this requested review of how Space Florida is tracking in its responsibilities with the numerous statutory requirements,” said Steve Kohler. “Space Florida concurs with OPPAGA’s findings as it supports the actions and decisions we have pursued. We thank the OPAGGA team for their very thorough and professional review of Space Florida’s operations and processes. From the beginning, Space Florida’s goals and strategic activities have been designed around creating and establishing the competitive edge for the State of Florida and Space Florida.”
“As part of our statutory requirements, Space Florida completed Phase I of the Spaceport Master Plan update. At that time, Space Florida did not have the LC-36 assignment, and Spaceport planning was being undertaken by he 45th Space Wing for the Eastern Range, and separately by NASA/KSC. It made sense to suspend further development of a Spaceport Master Plan update in isolation of the work being done by the other entities involved in civil, military and commercial launch.”
In keeping with its role to provide statewide leadership and advocacy for space-related issues, efforts have been ongoing to work in concert with the two entities, aligning strategic discussions and planning into an overall dynamic and changing spaceport environment that now includes commercial space.
Space Florida does not see these recommendations affecting its current timeline for the construction of Launch Complex 36. The architectural and design and associated environmental studies are underway and no construction can begin until those are completed.
In the meantime, the Spaceport Master Plan updates will be integrated into the Space Florida Spaceport Master Plan and Space Florida’s strategic business plan and all will be published upon completion.
OPPAGA’s mission is to support the Florida Legislature by providing evaluative research and objective analyses to promote government accountability and the efficient and effective use of public resources.