Space Florida Transforms SLC-46 for New Launch Capabilities

Athena-2 rocket at SLC-46. (Credit: NASA)

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACEPORT (August 17, 2017) – On August 25, Orbital ATK is scheduled to launch its Minotaur 4 rocket from Space Florida’s Space Launch Complex (SLC) 46 at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. The launch of the ORS 5 mission for the US Air Force (USAF), will be the first launch from the pad since 1999, as well as the first since Space Florida renovated the complex.

(more…)

DiBello: Florida Faces Possible Shortage of Aerospace Talent

Space Florida President Frank DiBello
Space Florida President Frank DiBello

Florida’s success in drawing companies such as Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman and OneWeb to the Space Coast could create a shortage of aerospace talent in the future, Space Florida CEO Frank DiBello said on Tuesday.

“I would even go so far as to say that this is the area I am most worried about for our aerospace future,” DiBello told several hundred guests at a National Space Club Florida Committee meeting in Cape Canaveral….

The Space Coast, anchored by the civil and military and space programs at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, has long been a hub for skilled aerospace workers.

And new companies had a ready supply to draw from after the retirement of NASA’s shuttle program in 2011 resulted in roughly 8,000 layoffs of contractors.

But looking ahead, DiBello said Florida does not produce enough aerospace-related degrees and lags a dozen states in attracting federal funding for space-related research, metrics that need to improve.

A source on the Space Coast recently told Parabolic Arc that NASA’s exploration ground system program, which is developing supporting infrastructure for the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft, has been impacted by workers taking positions with Blue Origin, which is building a rocket production facility nearby and modifying a launch pad at Cape Canaveral.
Save

Orbital Access Limited to Establish US Operations Hub at Cape Canaveral Spaceport

WASHINGTON, DC (Orbital Access PR) — Orbital Access Limited and Space Florida announced today that they have signed a strategic memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will see the UK space services operator establish a principal operating base at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. Orbital Access Limited is leading the development of a next generation small satellite launch system with support from the UK Space Agency to complement a portfolio of non-launch related space services to be delivered at horizontal launch spaceports, such as the Cape Canaveral Spaceport.

Announcing the signing Stuart McIntyre, CEO of Orbital Access said: “We are delighted to partner with Space Florida and the Cape Canaveral Spaceport to establish a primary service hub for the US market at the iconic heart of the Space industry in Florida. With the commercial market for small payload launch growing rapidly, the new breed of horizontal launch spaceports will become a key component in providing the access to space needed. These spaceports will become a hub for space related services ranging from simple industrial communications flights, micro gravity parabolic flight services, specialist astronaut conditioning, suborbital flying and, ultimately, small payload launch operations.”

Speaking on behalf of Space Florida, Frank DiBello said “We are delighted to welcome Orbital Access Limited to Florida as a major broad capability global operator to locate at Space Florida’s Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF). Commercial spaceports are becoming the go-to place for the wide range of space related services and activities, and access to low Earth orbit. As additional facilities develop around the world we are setting the operational template in Florida that will place us at the heart of the global spaceport system that is emerging.”

“Their selection of Florida for their payload services business reflects the deep space and aerospace industry heritage that exists in Florida and we look forward to the development of their wide range of services.”

Orbital Access Limited intends to base a fleet specialist aircraft at the SLF which will provide non-scheduled passenger services, parabolic micro gravity flight services and specialist charters. Additional services, such as simulator training and spaceflight participant conditioning, will be provided in conjunction with specialist providers in the USA. Horizontal take-off small payload launch services will be added once the development program, currently underway in the United Kingdom, is complete and operational permissions have been obtained. The development program, the Future UK Small Payload Launcher (FSPLUK) project, is being taken forward by Orbital Access Limited with an industrial team of tier 1 UK aerospace and academic partners.

Space Florida Pleads With Trump to Continuing Funding Major NASA Programs

Space Florida President Frank DiBello
Space Florida President Frank DiBello

Statement from Space Florida President Frank DiBello Regarding President-Elect Donald Trump

“On behalf of Space Florida, I welcome President-Elect Trump’s incoming administration and look forward to continuing our positive relationship with NASA. I have been encouraged by what I have heard of President-Elect Donald Trump’s plans for our national space program. As the incoming administration develops policies and priorities for the upcoming term, Space Florida  encourages President-Elect Trump’s incoming administration to sustain the balance of programs of record, including NASA’s Commercial Cargo and Crew programs, Space Launch System (SLS), Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (Orion), and affiliated Ground Systems Development and Operations.

Collectively, these programs sustain the Cape Canaveral Spaceport in Florida, this nation’s premier gateway to a great future in space.”
(more…)

NASA, Air Force & Others Weigh in on SpaceX Falcon 9 Accident

Falcon 9 explodes on the launch pad. (Credit: USLaunchReport.com)
Falcon 9 explodes on the launch pad. (Credit: USLaunchReport.com)

NASA

“We remain confident in our commercial partners and firmly stand behind the successful 21st century launch complex that NASA, other federal agencies, and U.S. commercial companies are building on Florida’s Space Coast. Today’s incident — while it was not a NASA launch — is a reminder that spaceflight is an incredible challenge, but our partners learn from each success and setback.

(more…)

Space Florida, Israel Innovation Authority Announce Fourth Call for Projects

space_florida_logoKENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., August 2, 2016 (Space Florida PR) – Space Florida and the Israel Innovation Authority (OCS) have issued a new joint call for project proposals worth $2million in R&D funding.

This is the fourth year that Space Florida and the Israel Innovation Authority (OCS) are conducting the competition. In October 2013, Florida and Israel initiated an annually recurring $2 million joint program to support research, development and commercialization of aerospace and related technology projects that benefit both Israel and the State of Florida. The projects approved to date encompass a wide range of promising research, including innovative radiation shielding technology, next-generation capacitors to power spacecraft, and identifying specific changes in human muscle and immune cells to model disease in reduced gravity environments.

(more…)

Praise for NASA’s Commercial Cargo Contract Awards

CSF_logo2Commercial Spaceflight Federation

NASA announced three cargo contract awards to ensure robust and affordable transportation of critical supplies, scientific experiments and commercial payloads to and from the International Space Station (ISS) through at least 2024. NASA selected Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and SpaceX to continue and expand upon its successful public-private partnerships with American companies to obtain reliable cargo resupply services for the ISS.

(more…)

CSF Adds New Member Companies

CSF_logo2WASHINGTON, D.C. (CSF PR) — The Commercial Spaceflight Federation welcomed several new member companies at its Executive Board meeting this week, expanding its membership to more than 60 companies.

Spaceport Camden of Camden County, Georgia joined CSF as an Executive Member. Steve Howard, Spaceport Camden project leader, will represent his organization on the CSF Board of Directors. “CSF’s mission strategically aligns with Camden’s goals, and we are pleased to join other industry leaders as part of this organization,” Howard said.

(more…)

Jeff Bezos to Make Commercial Launch Announcement Next Month

New Shepard flight test (Credit: Blue Origin)
New Shepard flight test (Credit: Blue Origin)

Blue Origin Founder Jeff Bezos is set to make a “significant announcement concerning the commercial launch industry” at Cape Canaveral on Sept. 15.

The announcement is expected to confirm Blue Origin’s intent to build rockets on the Space Coast and launch them from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The company has been negotiating a package with Space Florida and other agencies that would result in construction of a manufacturing facility in Exploration Park just south of Kennedy Space Center’s secure area on Merritt Island, and eventual launches of orbital human spaceflight missions from Launch Complex 36.

Space Florida’s board last week gave its approval for the state economic development agency to finalize the terms of an agreement, referring only to the deal’s code name of “Project Panther.”

Space Florida CEO Frank DiBello then said he thought the deal would be made public within a month or so.

 

Space Florida Trustees Approve Employee Bonus Plan

Space Florida President Frank DiBello
Space Florida President Frank DiBello

Space Florida’s Board of Trustees has approved an employee bonus package that could raise the pay of top officials at the for profit organization, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Space Florida receives about a third of its money from state taxpayers, but the bonuses are to be paid from the private revenue that the authority receives through leases and other contracts.

“I’m looking for board support to put a tool in place that management can use to attract the kind of talent, and retain the kind of talent that we seek to run this organization,” Space Florida President Frank DiBello told the board during its meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach. “This is a very useful tool.”

DiBello could be eligible for a incentive pay equal to 50 percent of his salary, which would be a $133,000 bonus. Others in the organization would be eligible for bonuses ranging from 5 to 40 percent.

Read the full story.

Cape Canaveral Launch Complex Revived

space_florida_logoKENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (Space Florida PR) – Space Florida, the Sunshine State’s aerospace and spaceport development authority, today announced that its Cape Canaveral launch facility at LC-46 will soon be roaring back to life as a multiuser launchpad for customers employing smaller rocket systems.

Space Florida has already started renovating Launch Complex 46 in preparation for several customers lined up to use the historic facility located at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Recently, Space Florida completed installation of a state-of-the-art communication and data system.

(more…)

CSF, Space Florida Praise ULA/Blue Origin Engine Venture

csf_logo_newestThe Commercial Spaceflight Federation Applauds  Blue Origin/ULA Engine Development Partnership

Washington D.C. (CSF PR) – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation congratulates Blue Origin on their partnership with United Launch Alliance to jointly fund the development of their new BE-4 rocket engine. The agreement includes a four-year development process with full scale testing in 2016 and first flight in 2019.

(more…)

CSF Elects Frank DiBello as New Chairman, Adds New Associate Member

Space Florida President Frank DiBello
Space Florida President Frank DiBello

Washington D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce that it has elected Frank DiBello, President and CEO of Space Florida, as its new Chairman succeeding Stuart Witt, CEO of Mojave Air & Space Port. At its semi-annual Board of Directors meeting this week in Jacksonville, Florida, the CSF also elected Mike Gold of Bigelow Aerospace and Sean Mahoney of Masten Space Systems to the Executive Committee of the Board, joining DiBello, Tim Hughes (SpaceX), Rob Meyerson (Blue Origin) and Mark Sirangelo (Sierra Nevada Corporation), who were reelected.

Also at the meeting, the full Board approved adding Interflight Global Corporation to the associate membership of the organization.

(more…)

Space Florida Pleased With FY 2015 Budget

space_florida_logoTALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 4, 2014) – The 2014 Florida Legislative session has concluded and Governor Rick Scott has approved dedicated funding for space and aerospace projects in Florida, through Space Florida’s 2014-2015 budget.

The new budget breaks down in the following manner:

  • $10 million for Space Florida general operations and programs  (includes $500,000 for an FIT joint initiative tied to Centers of Excellence research)
  • $5 million for Space Florida financing projects – half of which may be used to assist with commercialization of the former Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at Kennedy Space Center (The latter will only occur if Space Florida and NASA reach a mutual agreement on terms for refurbishment and use of the site. In the absence of such an agreement, this funding may be utilized toward financing further economic expansion activities across the state.)
  • $1.5 million for space tourism marketing (recurring)
  • $1 million to foster collaborative aerospace research, development and commercialization of projects through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor of the State of Israel (recurring)

(more…)

Space Life Sciences Lab Processes First International Commercial Space Experiment

University of Zurich CellBox experiment integration two days prior to launch. (Credit:  University of Zurich/Space Florida)
University of Zurich CellBox experiment integration two days prior to launch. (Credit: University of Zurich/Space Florida)

EXPLORATION PARK, Fla., June 3, 2014 (Space Florida PR) – Space Florida and the University of Zurich, Switzerland are pleased to announce the successful launch and return of the first international, commercial experiment processed at the Space Life Sciences Laboratory (SLSL) at Exploration Park, Florida.

(more…)