Tag: Space Florida

NASA, Partners Provide Updates on Commercial Crew

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commercial_crew_earthDuring last week’s Space Tech Expo in Long Beach, Calif., a panel of NASA and private sector partners gathered to discuss their progress on returning U.S. crew launches to American soil.

Below is a summary of their comments that provides some insights into where each partner is in development and what lies ahead for the rest of the year.

NASA is expected to award the next round of commercial crew contracts later this year.

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Space Florida and Innovation Coast Announce NW Florida Tech Business Plan Competition

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space_florida_logoPENSACOLA, FL, April 1, 2014 (Space Florida PR) – Innovation Coast, Space Florida, and the Florida Small Business Development Council (SBDC) Network are joining forces for an exciting high-tech business plan competition that will help innovators jumpstart big ideas in a variety of tech fields.

Open to businesses and entrepreneurs across the Southeast, the 2014 Innovation Awards will showcase 10 semifinalists and 10 finalists in an event that will enable them to present their business cases to venture capitalists, angel investors and financiers. In addition to having the opportunity to present to potential funding sources, first place winners will be awarded $100,000 and second place winners will receive an award of $50,000. Both the awards will come from Space Florida sponsorship, the State of Florida’s spaceport authority and aerospace development agency.

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Project MERCCURI Crowd Sources ISS Research

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Co-investigator Darlene Cavalier sampling the Liberty Bell for microbes as part of the International Space Station Project MERCCURI investigation. (Credit: National Park Service)

Co-investigator Darlene Cavalier sampling the Liberty Bell for microbes as part of the International Space Station Project MERCCURI investigation. (Credit: National Park Service)

By Jessica Nimon
International Space Station Program Science Office
NASA’s Johnson Space Center

Host Natalie Morales from the Today Show wiped Al Roker’s weather wall, as well as a camera and teleprompter with a cotton swab back in October. But just what did she and her co-host Willie Geist expect to find? They were citizen scientists looking for microbes—the tiny invisible, bacteria, viruses and fungi that may live on the sampled surfaces. Once captured, these televised swabs joined the Project MERCCURI collection that includes samples from museums, historical monuments and sporting venues. This massive “crowdsourced” gathering effort’s full name is Microbial Ecology Research Combining Citizen and University Researchers on the International Space Station, which references its mission to send the litany of microbes to the space station for research.

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Swiss Space Systems Plans Zero Gravity Flights From Shuttle Landing Facility

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SOAR spaceplane atop an A-300. (Credit: S3)

SOAR spaceplane atop an A-300. (Credit: S3)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, March 14, 2014 (S3 PR) – Today, aerospace company Swiss Space Systems (S3) inaugurates its new U.S. subsidiary, S3 USA Operations (Florida) Inc., at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). S3 has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Space Florida for future utilization the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) and associated infrastructure for its flight operations, which are slated to begin in 2015 with zero gravity flights. S3 will also evaluate the SLF as a main site for satellite launches beginning in 2018.

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Swiss Space Systems to Inaugurate Florida Office on Friday

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SOAR spaceplane atop an A-300. (Credit: S3)

SOAR spaceplane atop an A-300. (Credit: S3)

Swiss Space Systems will inaugurate its Florida operations on Friday evening with an event at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

The official launch event agenda will include:

  • Presentation of S3’s program, and design of its innovative air-launched shuttle for small satellite delivery, by Pascal Jaussi, Founder & CEO of Swiss Space Systems
  • Announcement of activities of S3 in Florida, and its future developments, by Robert Feierbach, Head of S3 USA Holdings
  • Remarks by Frank DiBello, CEO and President of Space Florida.

Swiss Space Systems will base its operations at the Kennedy Space Center.

Two Research Competition Experiments to Fly to ISS

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iss_portrait3
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (Space Florida PR) – Space Florida, the state’s spaceport authority and aerospace development organization, and NanoRacks LLC, a designer and manufacturer of microgravity research platforms, are pleased to announce that two of the seven winners of the Space Florida International Space Station (ISS) Research Competition are scheduled to launch their payloads to the ISS onboard SpaceX CRS-3 (Commercial Resupply Services, Mission 3), from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on March 16, 2014. The two NanoLabs holding these payloads will fly inside the SpaceX Dragon capsule being launched on top of a Falcon 9 rocket, version 1.1.

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Space Florida Adds New Senior Director

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Sharon Spratt Headshot

Sharon Spratt

EXPLORATION PARK, Fla. (Space Florida PR) – Space Florida is pleased to welcome Sharon Spratt, the organization’s new Senior Director of Government Relations.

Spratt will report to the president of Space Florida from Tallahassee and will oversee coordination of all federal, state, and local government relations and legislative initiatives for the organization. She will serve as Space Florida’s lead advocate to the Florida Legislature and Congress, and will also serve as the primary organizational point of contact to the Florida Governor’s office.

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Space Florida Names Vice President of NewSpace Market Development

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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.

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Florida Space Officials Outline Priorities for 2014 Legislative Session

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florida_space_weekSpace-Related Priorities Coming into Focus
for 2014 Legislative Session

Florida Space Development Council

February 20, 2014 – Florida space industry leaders have prepared an initial list of space-related policy and funding priorities for consideration by elected officials during the 2014 Legislative Session in Tallahassee, which begins on March 4. The state’s annual Florida Space Day event, planned on March 12, will bring industry, government and academic leaders to Tallahassee to show their support for space issues.

The Florida Space Development Council will participate in Florida Space Day at the state capitol, and will monitor the progress of space-related legislation and funding requests.

2014 Florida Legislative Space Issues – Update 2/21/14
 Issue/Bill House Status Senate
Status 
 Comments*
Space Florida Ops Budget ($10M) Support for Space Florida’s budget, at same level received in 2013 session. Included in Space Florida’s budget request.
Qualified Targeted Industry (QTI) Incentive Funding Carry-Forward Allows QTI tax refund recipients (including aerospace companies) to have more than a single year to use tax credit allowance, or sell credits to other companies.
Space Industry Tourism Funding ($1/5M) Recurring budget item established in 2013, to support tourism attractions and space tourism flight business. Included in Space Florida’s budget request.
Commercial Launch Site (Shiloh) Support (undetailed, possibly FDOT funding) for Space Florida’s efforts to establish a new commercial launch site (Shiloh or whichever alternative is selected after EIS).
Commercialization of Federal Space Facilities Support (undetailed, possibly FDOT funding) for Space Florida’s efforts to transform NASA facilities for commercial space operations.
Commercial Lease Tax Cut SB-176 sponsored by Sen. Hukill Support for a general $100M, 0.5% reduction in commercial lease sales tax.
Quick Response Training (QRT) Incentive Funding ($12M) Support for maintaining 2013 funding level for this workforce
training incentive managed by Workforce Florida. Included in Gov’s Office budget request.
STEM Workforce Training ($30M) Support for STEM scholarships to state colleges and vocational schools. Likely to be added as proviso language to budget later in session.
Universities Space Research Support (undetailed, possibly SUS) funding for increasing Florida university involvement in space research. Space (Florida’s matching fund for FAA-sponsored space research has expired and there’s no plan for reinstating it.)

* Note: All budget items are subject to the Governor’s line-item veto authority.

Florida Space Industry to Visit Capitol on March 12

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florida_space_weekKENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL (February 19, 2014) – Representatives from Florida’s aerospace industry will visit Tallahassee on March12, 2014, to participate in Florida Space Day and share with legislators the opportunities the industry brings to Florida and the nation’s space program.

“In Florida, aerospace means business,” said Patty Stratton, chair of Florida Space Day 2014. Nearly all 67 counties contribute to this $9 billion industry, led by nearly 500 companies employing 30,000 residents; and space-related industries grow that amount to $19.2 billion, supporting 20,000 companies and 140,000-plus jobs.

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