Texas Space Alliance’s Campaign Includes Development Zones, State Space Agency

Texas Space Alliance ‘Space for Texas’ Campaign
for the 2013 Texas Legislative Session

1. Space Business & Technology Development Zones: Intent – to attract space business to Texas and help develop space flight facilities. All space-related/space-supporting businesses in those zones will have their state Franchise tax reduced significantly, or eliminated.

  • Allocate portion of revenues to education funding & the Texas Spaceport Trust Fund
  • Passes Constitutionality test as it is not a state-wide industry franchise tax exemption
  • Potentially ‘No-Cost’ed as many of these would be new (or expanded) businesses

2. Space Flight Facility Infrastructure and Regulation: Intent – integrate infrastructure needs of the new commercial space sector (sites for flight tests, R&D, & commercial activity) into the TXDOT Strategic Development Plan, with enabling legislative language.

  • Capital-intensive space firms need infrastructure funds more than ‘job creation’ help
  • Support remote development/testing locations (similar to Mojave, CA) and commercial space ports both coastal and inland for orbital & suborbital vehicles
  • TXDOT Aerospace Division or separate Space Division for regulatory consistency
  • Move to mediate disputes over space flight facility activities similarly to practice for airports (noise, etc.) before they become lawsuits which negatively impact industry

3. New Texas Space Development Entity (‘Space Texas’): Intent – a distinct Executive Branch agency under the Office of the Governor. Responsible for fostering the growth and development of space industries in Texas, allowing competition to similar efforts in Florida and other states. Intent of this office is not regulatory in nature, but acts rather as a facilitator, an initiator, a clearinghouse, and an organizer.

  • Attempt to fund at or above Space Florida effort ($10M initially)
  • Use lessons learned/examples of previous Texas Aerospace Commission, Space Florida
  • Sends clear signal to space companies/nation/world regarding Texas’ space intentions

4. Increased Emphasis on Texas Space Education: Intent – to motivate, excite, and grow the next generation of Texas space engineers, astronauts, and entrepreneurs.

  • Fund space/science curriculum, telescopes, model rocket clubs, etc. in K-12 schools
  • More space science in College, apprenticeships at space firms, space business courses
  • International Space Flight Academy adjacent to Johnson Space Center/Ellington Field to train next gen astronauts/engineers/controllers etc. (including commercial) to leverage off of JSC world class legacy, knowledge and experience base in manned spaceflight

5. Micro Gravity Research Center: Intent – to create a one-stop experience bringing together space microgravity business enablers (University research, launch vehicles, support hardware and services, insurance, financing, etc.), to offer such efforts a new way to integrate in Texas.

  • Serve researchers from industry, academia, and entrepreneurial sectors
  • Researchers and service providers can interact (and compete) synergistically
  • Access to capabilities previously limited only to large corporations, academia, or government.