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.


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.


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.


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)


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.


Space Florida Names Vice President of NewSpace Market Development

Allison Odyssey (Credit: Space Florida)
Allison Odyssey (Credit: Space Florida)

EXPLORATION PARK, Fla., February 25, 2014 (Space Florida PR) – Space Florida is pleased to name Allison Odyssey as Vice President of NewSpace Market Development. In this role, Odyssey is responsible for creating, directing, and managing Space Florida’s business partnerships with the NewSpace industry, while leveraging and strengthening a positive business climate for the commercial space markets to grow in Florida. Odyssey has been with Space Florida for seven years, most recently as Senior Program Director.

Today the NewSpace industry is composed of hundreds of small and large businesses and according to industry analysts, is expected to reach 1,000 companies worldwide by 2016. NewSpace is characterized by lean companies that are backed by private investment and use space applications to serve a growing base of commercial customers. By evaluating the business needs of these companies from a technical and financial standpoint, Odyssey is responsible for shaping customized solutions, and providing support and investment in the areas that will have the largest impact and best position them for growth and success.


SNC Announces Plans for First Orbital Dream Chaser Flight, Expanded Florida Operations

Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)
Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Sparks, Nev., Jan. 23, 2014 Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announces that it has confirmed that the first orbital flight of its Dream Chaser® Space System will occur on November 1, 2016.  Dream Chaser will be brought to orbit on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket that is being built in Decatur, Alabama and will launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

During SNC’s press event at the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), which was carried live on NASA TV, Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president and head of Sierra Nevada Space Systems also unveiled the plans for Dream Chaser flight operations and vehicle processing in Florida through a detailed multi-part presentation.


Sierra Nevada to Announce Dream Chaser Expansion Along Florida Space Coast

Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)
Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) of Sparks, Nev., will announce expansion plans for its Dream Chaser Space System program in a news conference Thursday, Jan. 23, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The announcement will be carried live on NASA Television and the agency’s website at 3 p.m. EST.

SNC officials will discuss the company’s plans for expansion in the Kennedy area and the current status of the Dream Chaser program. Others will join the briefing to discuss how these developments assist in creating jobs and investment opportunities on the Space Coast that support Kennedy’s transformation into a multi-user spaceport.

The news conference will take place at Kennedy’s Press Site Television Auditorium. NASA TV will air the news conference prior to the launch of the agency’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-L. Liftoff of TDRS-L on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida is targeted for 9:05 p.m.

Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president and head of SNC’s Space Systems, will make the announcements and be joined by:

  • Bob Cabana, Kennedy Space Center director
  • Michael Gass, United Launch Alliance president and CEO
  • Frank DiBello, Space Florida president and CEO
  • Larry Price, Lockheed Martin Space Systems deputy program manager for NASA’s Orion spacecraft
  • Steve Lindsey, Sierra Nevada Corporation Dream Chaser program manager.

Florida’s UAS Effort Suffers Setback With FAA Decision

Florida’s effort to diversify the economy of the Space Coast with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) suffered a setback this week when it was not named as one of six test sites by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). However, officials said they would continue to press forward in this growing area.

The FAA approved proposal from applicants in Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia to serve as sites where UAS will be tested and techniques developed for integrating the vehicles into the national airspace. The agency rejected bids from Space Florida and 18 other bidders.


Florida, Brazil Deepen Aerospace Ties With Trade Missions, Embraer Expansion

space_florida_logoThe state of Florida and emerging South American economic power Brazil spent the month of October strengthening their economic ties, with a particular focus on aerospace cooperation. The activities included an exchange of trade missions and the announcement that Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer will expand its operations in Melbourne, bringing 600 jobs to Florida’s hard-hit Space Coast.

The following stories are excerpted from Space Florida’s most recent newsletter.

Florida-Brazil Trade Mission Results in Business Development Leads

In early October, Space Florida President Frank DiBello had the opportunity to conduct a trade mission to Brazil, meeting with 20+ high-tech and aerospace executives that expressed interest in doing business in the United States. The mission was hosted by the Brazil-Florida Chamber of Commerce.


Four Finalists Identified for FSDC Bumper Award

Gwynne Shotwell

October 12, 2013 (FSDC PR) — The Florida Space Development Council’s Bumper Award, named after the first rocket launched from Cape Canaveral in 1950, is designed to recognize an individual or organization that has had the biggest impact on Florida’s space industry, or a Floridian that has had the biggest national impact in space. The 2013 Bumper recipient will be selected from a list of finalists that were identified by a panel of nine FSDC member volunteers.

The 2013 finalists include (in alphabetical order): Frank DiBello, president of Space Florida; Dr. John Johnson, president of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Gwynne Shotwell, president of SpaceX; and Will Trafton, chairman of COMSTAC.

The FSDC board of directors will now select the winner and present the award during an upcoming event before the end of the year.

Statements of Regret over Garver’s Departure From NASA

Space Florida President Frank DiBello
Space Florida President Frank DiBello

Statement from Space Florida President Frank DiBello on Lori Garver’s departure from NASA as Deputy Administrator, announced on August 6, 2013:

“More than anyone in Washington, Lori Garver has advocated passionately for the future of commercial space in the service this nation. That commitment has been challenged repeatedly by opposition from powerful competing interests around the country and on Capitol Hill. Although a fierce advocate for that which will ultimately secure this nation’s future in space, she was unfailingly warm and personable. We need more people like her in this industry. She remained ever faithful to her vision, and we are all the better for it.”


UKTI Honors Space Florida President DiBello

Space Florida President Frank DiBello
Space Florida President Frank DiBello

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.,  March 12, 2013 (Space Florida PR) – On Thursday, March 7, the UK Trade & Investment Group (UKTI) granted Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello the “Consul General’s Special Recognition Award” at its Innovation Awards and Gala Dinner in Miami.

UKTI helps companies establish and grow their high-value investments in the UK and assists UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. UKTI recognized DiBello for his role in driving prosperity, and commercial and research opportunities between the UK and Florida, including signing a Memorandum of Understanding that has led to trade missions and job creation in both the UK and Florida.


Potential SpaceX Launch Site in Texas Competes with Other Priorities as Florida Moves Forward

Gov. Rick Perry. (Credit: Gage Skidmore)
Gov. Rick Perry. (Credit: Gage Skidmore)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry prides himself on running a state government that is lean, with light regulations and low taxes to attract employers. This business friendly approach appears to be complicating efforts to put together a financial package that will convince SpaceX to locate a commercial launch facility near Brownsville.

An underfunded education system and health care reform are just a sample of the issues facing lawmakers in the upcoming session. With the University of Texas Board of Regents also pushing to accelerate creation of a medical school in the Rio Grande Valley, the proposed space venture will not even be the biggest local economic development cause.


Postive Reactions to NASA’s CCiCAP Awards

Reactions to NASA’s $1.1 billion in CCiCAP awards to Boeing, SpaceX and Sierra Nevada Corporation have been pouring into the Parabolic Arc world news headquarters in Mojave all day. Statements have come in by email, fax, phone, telegram, telegraph, teletype, carrier pigeon, and even Pony Express rider (some sort of weird space time continuum rift from a secret Navy project up at China Lake — you really don’t want to know more).

Below is a sampling of the reactions.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)

“Today’s announcement shows that NASA has put together a thoughtful selection of companies and capabilities that we anticipate will culminate in a domestic capability to launch astronauts to the International Space Station.

This is consistent with the approach several of us in the Congress urged NASA to take, to ensure that the limited funds available are spent on developments that have a strong probability of success.

This is a step that should keep development of commercial crew capability on a schedule to launch as soon and as safely as possible while on a realistic budget. There now is a sensible path forward to enable a US launched crew capability for utilizing our investment in the space station.