EXPLORATION PARK, Fla. (December 23, 2020) – Today, Space Florida shared the many accomplishments of Florida’s aerospace and commercial space industry in 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida’s Cape Canaveral Spaceport kept launching rockets. In May, the world watched as American astronauts lifted off from Florida for the first time since 2011, marking a new era of human spaceflight and commercial space exploration. The aerospace industry represents a key part of the State’s strategy for post-pandemic economic recovery, and Space Florida has good reason to be enthusiastic about the future of aerospace.
“Despite the challenges that COVID-19 brought to the State, our industry and our organization, Space Florida is pleased to have had a successful year of growth within the aerospace industry here in the State of Florida, with support from Governor DeSantis as well as our Board Chair and Lieutenant Governor Nuñez,” said Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello. “Space Florida is working with other economic development partners to create an energized driving force in recruiting these companies to the Sunshine State. The future of this industry is very bright, representing an increasingly important segment of Florida’s economy.
EXPLORATION PARK, Fla. (Space Florida PR) — As Space Florida continues re-development of Space Launch Complex 20 (SLC-20) at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport as a multi-pad commercial launch site and home to Firefly Aerospace’s east coast launch operations, a significant milestone was reached in October with Space Florida’s completion of an Environmental Assessment encompassing modernization of facilities and high-cadence launch operations from the site.
Completion of this critical environmental review enables Firefly’s continued development and future operations at SLC-20, while ensuring that such activities pose no significant impact to the treasured natural assets of the spaceport.
Additionally, in October, Space Florida’s Board of Directors authorized Space Florida to enter long-term lease agreements for the site with the 45th Space Wing and Firefly, marking another important milestone in the ongoing transformation of the Cape Canaveral Spaceport into a hub for commercial space operations.
Space Florida would further like to congratulate Firefly on completion of acceptance testing and delivery of the first Alpha launch vehicle to Vandenberg AFB in preparation for the company’s initial launch.
We look forward to a successful mission as Firefly emerges as a leader in the small launch market, and continues preparation of both the SLC-20 launch site and the company’s new high-volume automated rocket factory in Space Florida’s Exploration Park at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport.
Exploration Park, Miami and Tampa, Fla. (Space Florida/Florida Venture Forum PR) – Space Florida and the Florida Venture Forum are pleased to announce Archangel Lightworks, Agriculture Intelligence, Inc., and Vital Vio as the top three winners, respectively, of the 2020 Aerospace Innovation & Tech Forum.
Aerospace and innovative tech companies from related industries were invited to apply to present in a first-ever web-based competition for the Space Florida Accelerating Innovation (AI) awards, totaling $100,000. Twenty presenters were selected from a pool of more than 100 applicants by a committee of active venture investors.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Marco Rubio PR) — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rick Scott (R-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the bipartisan, bicameral American Space Commerce Act of 2020. At a time when the U.S. has steadily decreased its dependence on foreign rockets and launch infrastructure, the American Space Commerce Act would bolster U.S. leadership in the space industry, enhance public-private partnerships with American companies, and further increase U.S. innovation.
U.S. Representatives Bill Posey (R-FL) and Charlie Crist (D-FL) introduced the House version of the legislation (H.R. 6783). The legislation is supported by the Aerospace Industry Association, Blue Origin, Boeing, Space Florida, SpaceX, and ULA.
EXPLORATION PARK, Fla. (Space Florida PR) – Space Florida is moving forward on a $90 million infrastructure improvement grant recently awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The grant will support three interrelated projects, including replacing the aging SR 405 bridge over the Indian River Lagoon, widening Space Commerce Way, and revitalizing a 3.7-mile stretch of NASA Parkway West. The project is expected to take approximately five years to complete.
With the award in place, Space Florida and its partners from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center can now move forward with the project. The grant, which is part of DOT’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America INFRA) program, will support growing aerospace industry and launch activities at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. The current bridge will be replaced with two new high-span bridges, and the widening of the roadways will facilitate launch traffic, simplify transport of oversized launch hardware, and improve access for visitors.
Miami, Exploration Park and Tampa, Fla., September 11, 2019 (Space Florida/Florida Venture Forum PR) – Space Florida and the Florida Venture Forum, Florida’s largest statewide support organization for investors and entrepreneurs, are pleased to announce the Florida Aerospace Capital Forum, taking place on November 6th at the Guidewell Innovation Center in Lake Nona, Florida.
Tel Aviv, Israel (Gov. Ron DeSantis PR) – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis participated in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing between Space Florida and the Israel Space Agency. The Governor, Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello, and Mr. Avi Blasberger, Director General of The Israel Space Agency, were all on hand for the signing, which took place at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation.
Also in attendance were Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Enterprise Florida, Inc. President & CEO Jamal Sowell, Space Florida Vice President of Research and Innovation Tony Gannon, Chairman of the Israel Space Agency Major General Isaac Ben-Israel, Israel Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Akunis and Director-General of the Israel Ministry of Science and Technology Ran Ber.
CAPE CANAVERAL SPACEPORT, Fla. and CEDAR PARK, Texas, Feb. 22, 2019 (Space Florida PR) – Firefly Aerospace, Inc. (Firefly), a provider of economical and dependable launch vehicles, spacecraft and in-space services, announced today the execution of a binding term sheet with Space Florida, under which Firefly will establish business operations at Cape Canaveral Spaceport, including launch operations at historic Space Launch Complex 20 and manufacturing facilities at Exploration Park, Florida. Firefly’s announcement is concurrent with its receipt of a Statement of Capability from the 45th Space Wing.
The Orlando Sentinelreports that Space Florida is closer to a deal with an unidentified launch services company to bring 239 jobs to the Space Coast.
Space Florida’s Board of Directors approved a request to finalize negotiations with an undisclosed company under code name “Project Maricopa” Tuesday during its quarterly meeting in Orlando. Because of the competition involved in the deal, Space Florida will not reveal the name of the company until terms are complete.
Under the planned deal, the Florida Department of Transportation will reimburse 50 percent of what the company spends on common infrastructure, such as roads and utilities, up to $18.9 million. In exchange, the company will commit to investing $52 million in Florida….
Space Florida has been in talks with the company for the past year, ironing out a deal that would include launch services at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s launch complex 20 and a manufacturing facility at Exploration Park, the state-run complex near Kennedy Space Center.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) has conceded the Senate race to Republican rival Rick Scott after a recount. Scott, who is leaving his job as Florida governor, won by 10,033 votes out of more than 8.1 million cast.
Nelson, who has been a strong supporter of NASA, has held the Senate seat for 18 years. He previously served in the House of Representatives from 1979 to 1991.
During his time in the House, he flew into space as a payload specialist aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 1986.
Scott has also been a strong supporter of the space program during his time as governor. Space Florida, which serves as the state’s space agency, has spent millions of dollars on infrastructure improvements and other incentives at Cape Canaveral to lure commercial companies to operate there.
Nelson was one of three prominent space advocates to lose re-election bids. Rep. John Culberson. Republican lost his bid to continue representing Texas’ 7th district. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) will also be departing after 30 years in the House.
CAPE CANAVERAL SPACEPORT, Fla., November 08, 2018 (Space Florida PR) – Today, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Commercial Space (AST) issued Space Florida a Launch Site Operator License (LSOL) for operations at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF). This landmark license, which is required by any site with multiple users, expands the capabilities of the Cape to multiple horizontal launch and landing customers.
Blue Origin has yet to launch a rocket from Florida, but it is already planning an expansion of its operations in the Sunshine State, the Orlando Sentinelreports.
According to Space Florida, the state’s spaceport authority, the company is moving ahead with a $60 million facility in Exploration Park, the state-run complex near Kennedy Space Center where Blue Origin has already built a more than $200 million rocket factory, set to open early next year.
The new testing and refurbishment complex will create about 50 jobs with estimated annual wages of $70,000, plus benefits, according to Space Florida’s board of director meeting agenda. The board approved Space Florida to enter into an agreement with Blue Origin regarding the facility last month.
As part of the pact, the state will use tax dollars to reimburse Blue Origin up to $4 million in common infrastructure costs, such as roads and utilities….
The new testing and refurbishment facility will be central to Blue Origin’s commitment to reusability. The first stage of the New Glenn rocket, which provides the muscle for the launch, will be fully reusable, Blue Origin has said. It will land on a ship after separation from the second stage.
The Jacksonville Aviation Authority has received an $1.8 million matching grant from Space Florida to fund the design and construction of a space operations center, payload preparation facility and rocket motor test facility at Cecil Spaceport, the Jacksonville Daily Recordreports.
Space Florida, which is the state’s space promotional agency, approved the funding at a board meeting in June.
Cecil Airport is a public joint civil-military airport and spaceport. It was a naval air station from 1941 until 1999.
EXPLORATION PARK, FL and AIRPORT CITY, ISRAEL — June 21, 2018 (Space Florida PR) – Space Florida, the aerospace and spaceport development authority for the State of Florida, and the Israel Innovation Authority, created to maintain Israel’s position at the forefront of global innovation, are pleased to announce the fifth-round winners of industrial research and development funding tied to the Space Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership Program.
In October 2013, Florida and Israel created a $2 million recurring joint fund to support research, development and commercialization of aerospace and technology projects that benefit both Israel and Florida. For this Call for Projects, in total, 14 joint proposals were submitted by teams of for-profit companies in Florida and Israel, and four teams have been selected for the fifth round awards.
Space Florida has approved an $1.5 million loan to a lunar landing company and $18.9 million in upgrades and infrastructure improvements to support Blue Origin, SpaceX and an unidentified horizontal launch and landing venture, Florida Todayreports.
At a board meeting Wednesday in Tampa, the state agency responsible for aerospace economic development approved loaning $1.5 million to a company identified only by the code name Project Forge, described as a contender to win contracts under a NASA program developing lunar landers.
Space Florida also committed to spending up to $1 million to upgrade utilities at Kennedy Space Center’s former space shuttle runway to support test flights — as soon as early 2019 — by another unidentified company, referred to as Project Pine.
“This is the first real space user for horizontal launch and landing,” board chairman Bill Dymond said of the three-mile runway that Space Florida is trying to commercialize after the shuttle’s 2011 retirement. “I think that’s very exciting.”
In other business Wednesday, Space Florida’s board approved committing up to $14.5 million to SpaceX’s planned expansion at KSC, and up to $3.4 million for a new engine-related facility that Blue Origin will add to its New Glenn rocket manufacturing site at KSC’s Exploration Park.