Tag: Space Florida

Space Florida Criticizes NASA KSC Master Plan

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Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center

Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center

Space Florida, the state-funded development agency, is not too keen on the proposed master plan for NASA’s Kennedy Space Center:

Unrealistic launch pad locations. Projects so vague no meaningful environmental review is possible. A business model that could discourage, rather than attract, new commercial launch activity at Kennedy Space Center.

Those are among significant concerns state officials identified with KSC’s new 20-year master plan in a broad critique submitted as part of the plan’s environmental review.

Space Florida said neither option being considered by NASA’s environmental review — to adopt the master plan or not — represents “the best interests of either the nation or the State of Florida,” and master plan revisions may be necessary.

“Space Florida suggests more dialogue and collaboration between KSC and its stakeholders before proceeding” with the review, Chief Operations Officer Jim Kuzma wrote last month in a 12-page letter to NASA, which FLORIDA TODAY obtained through a state public records request.

Read the full story.

 

Space Florida Sets Boeing Commercial Crew Rent

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High Bay of KSC facility used to manufacture Boeing CST-100 spacecraft.

High Bay of KSC facility used to manufacture Boeing CST-100 spacecraft.

Florida Today reports that Space Florida will charge Boeing up to $1 million per year in rent for facilities at the Kennedy Space Center where the company would assemble commercial crew vehicles.

The agreement is contingent upon Boeing winning a contract under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to build the CST-100 spacecraft, which would transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station. NASA is expected to announce the next round of program funding soon.

The 10-year lease, which would begin on Jan. 1, 2015, would include a former space shuttle processing facility, an engine shop and offices. Space Florida would spend up to $20 million to renovate the facilities.

Boeing has said the NASA contract would allow it to base more than 500 jobs in Florida. However, the company is not expected to continue with CST-100 development if it does receive additional funds from the space agency.

Boeing is in competition with SpaceX and Sierra Nevada Corporation, which also are developing vehicles under the program. NASA expects to announce the next round of funding shortly. It is likely that at least one of the competitors will be eliminated.

Cecil Spaceport Summit Set for September

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cecilfield_imgJACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Space Florida PR) – On September 11th, the Jacksonville Aviation Authority will host its biennual Cecil Spaceport Summit at the Jacksonville Hyatt. While the first event in 2012 was more focused on educating legislators on issues pertaining to the commercial space industry, the upcoming Summit will take on more of a workshop format for interested launch site operators and launch providers. The goal will be to not only address key industry questions but also increase the visibility and offerings of the Cecil Spaceport.

Space Florida President Frank DiBello will serve as the morning keynote at this year’s event and will address strategies to keep Florida first in the global space market.

Continue reading ‘Cecil Spaceport Summit Set for September’

DiBello to Cape: Adapt — or Die!

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Space Florida President Frank DiBello

Space Florida President Frank DiBello

In an address to the National Space Club Florida Committee yesterday, Space Florida CEO Frank DiBello issued a start warning that Florida’s Space Coast risks irrelevancy if it doesn’t adapt to a rapidly commercializing industry.

DiBello said he expects Texas to announce within a week or two that SpaceX will build a privately operated pad near Brownsville for launches of commercial satellites.

DiBello said he was not angry at SpaceX, which will continue to launch government payloads from here and whose CEO, Elon Musk, was making a business decision about where he could best serve commercial customers.

Continue reading ‘DiBello to Cape: Adapt — or Die!’

Space Florida Pleased With FY 2015 Budget

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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)

Continue reading ‘Space Florida Pleased With FY 2015 Budget’

A Final Accounting of Florida Space Spending

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space_florida_logoThe good folks at the Florida Space Development Council have provided this handy final report on the fates of space initiatives during the current legislative session. It was a good session overall, with most objectives achieved.

In all, Gov. Rick Scott approved $22 million in space spending, includes funding for Space Florida, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida Institute of Technology, Cecil Field Spaceport, Shuttle Landing Facility, space tourism marketing, and a partnership with Israel. The spending package also includes millions of dollars for infrastructure improvements and economic development incentives for companies relocating or expanding in Florida.

2014 FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE SPACE ISSUES – FINAL 6/5/14
ISSUE/BILL HOUSE
STATUS
SENATE STATUS COMMENTS
Space Florida Ops Budget ($10 Million) Funded at $14.5M in House/Senate conference budget Funded at $14.5M in Senate/House conference budget Signed by governor.
Space Florida Financing/Investment Fund ($7M) Funded at $5M in House/Senate conference budget Funded at $5M in Senate/House conference budget Signed by governor. $2M less than in 2013. Funding for financing deals for aerospace expansion projects.
Space Transportation Infrastructure Funding ($20M) $20M is in FDOT annual work program through 2018 $20M is in FDOT annual work program through 2018 Continued funding within FDOT budget for “TIP” program. $15M minimum is included in FDOT budget allocation.
Shuttle Landing Facility Transition ($2.5M) Allowed in Financing/
Investment Fund line (above)
Allowed in Financing/
Investment Fund line (above)
Proviso earmark. Funding to transition/promote SLF for new commercial and govt users. $2.5M/year for two years suggested.
Cecil Field Spaceport Infrastructure ($2M) Added to Space Florida ops budget Added to Space Florida ops budget Proviso addition. Funding for Cecil Field spaceport infrastructure. Added to budget in conference committee.
Space Industry Tourism Funding ($1.5M) Fully funded within Space Florida ops budget Fully funded within Space Florida ops budget Signed by governor. Recurring budget item to support tourism attractions and space tourism flight business.
Israel Joint Aerospace Development ($1M) Fully funded within Space Florida ops budget Fully funded within Space Florida ops budget Signed by governor. Continued funding of joint aerospace projects with Space Florida and Israel. Included in Gov’s budget request.
Quick Response Training (QRT) Incentive ($12M) Fully funded in House budget
proposal
Fully funded in Senate budget proposal Signed by governor. Workforce training incentive managed by Workforce Florida. Included in governor’s budget request.
Embry-Riddle high school aerospace academies ($1M) Funded at $3M in House/Senate conference budget Funded at $3M in House/Senate conference budget Signed by governor. Recurring budget item to support/expand network of high school aerospace academies in Florida increased to $3 million.
Florida Tech space transportation research ($500K) Added to Space Florida ops budget Added to Space Florida ops budget Proviso earmark. New funding request for research on “efficient commercial space transportation system.”
Qualified Targeted Industry (QTI) Incentive Carry-Forward HB-1209 bill died in committee SB-1422 bill died in committee Would have allowed more than one year for QTI recipients (including aerospace firms) to use tax credit allowance, or sell credits to other firms.
Governor’s School for Space, Science & Technology ($500K) Added to budget in conference Added to budget in conference Vetoed by governor. Continued funding for a space & technology school program for gifted students.

Cecil Spaceport Receives $2 Million for Infrastructure Upgrades

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cecilfield_imgJACKSONVILLE, FL, June 2, 2014 (JAA PR) — The Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) today applauded Gov. Rick Scott for signing the 2014-2015 state budget, which includes $2 million to build infrastructure necessary for the development of Cecil Spaceport.

JAA also expressed appreciation for the continued support of Cecil Spaceport by the Florida Legislature, including members of the First Coast Legislative Delegation, the Florida Department of Transportation and Space Florida. Cecil Spaceport is the only facility in Florida licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to accommodate commercial space horizontal launches.

“This is an important step in the development of Cecil Spaceport,” said JAA Executive Director and CEO Steve Grossman. “The state’s support for Cecil and this developing industry is critical. If the commercial space industry doesn’t come to Cecil, it will likely not come to Florida for at least another four or five years.”

In December 2013, JAA signed its first tenant agreement at Cecil Spaceport with Atlanta-based Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc. (GO). GO is developing an in-flight suborbital space launch platform to conduct microgravity and hypersonic research (GOLauncher 1) and later, a dedicated orbital launch platform for nano and micro satellites (GOLauncher 2). Test flights are expected to begin at Cecil as early as August 2014, with operational launches forecast to begin in 2016.

Space Life Sciences Lab Processes First International Commercial Space Experiment

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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.

Continue reading ‘Space Life Sciences Lab Processes First International Commercial Space Experiment’

Florida Tax Group Criticizes Cecil Field Funding

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cecilfield_imgFlorida TaxWatch is urging Gov. Rick Scott to veto $2.5 million worth of infrastructure improvements for Cecil Spaceport.

In its annual review of legislative spending bills, the group identified the project as part of $120 million in spending qualifying as Budget Turkeys. The funding is part of Space Florida’s operating budget.

“The budget review identifies appropriations that circumvent transparency and accountability standards in public budgeting,” the group said in its annual report. “Each appropriation is scrutinized against a set of standardized criteria established by Florida TaxWatch.”

The Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA), which controls Cecil Spaceport, has signed a tenant agreement with Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc. (GO). The Atlanta-based company is developing an aircraft launched rocket to place small satellites into orbit.

FSDC Applauds State Support for Space Industry

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space_florida_logoMay 9, 2014 (FSDC PR) — The Florida Space Development Council (FSDC) applauds the state legislature’s continued support for space industry development and diversification. During the recently concluded annual legislative session in Tallahassee elected officials approved $22.5 million for aerospace programs in 2015, with an additional $20 million available through the Florida Department of Transportation for space transportation infrastructure.