Tag: Space Florida

Space Florida Pleads With Trump to Continuing Funding Major NASA Programs

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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.”
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Space Florida Seeks Another $5 Million for SpaceX Pad Upgrades

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Pad 39A Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

Pad 39A Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

Well, this is interesting. Space Florida is seeking $5 million from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to help SpaceX pay for upgrades to Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

The move will be discussed during an online-only board meeting next Wednesday.

According to meeting documents, “project match funding” from FDOT would be used for “infrastructure improvements by SpaceX.”

The move would authorize Space Florida to enter into an agreement with billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s space company.

Specifically, the meeting agenda says the $5 million is needed to help fund with Phase 2 of improvements to Pad 39A. It’s not clear exactly what these upgrades entail.

The timing of this move is interesting. It’s being done at a special meeting, which means the matter came up after — or wasn’t ready to be dealt with in time for —  the last board meeting held only three weeks ago on Sept. 28.  Nor does it seem the matter can wait until the board’s next regularly scheduled meeting on Nov. 29.

The apparent urgency of the request might well be related to the destruction of a Falcon 9 on Pad 40 last month. The launch complex was seriously damaged by the fire and explosion. It will be out of commission for an unknown number of months.

SpaceX officials say they could use Pad 39A as early as November to launch Falcon 9 rockets while the other launch complex is being repaired. The launcher’s return to flight depends upon an ongoing investigation into why a Falcon 9 caught fire and exploded while it was being fueled on Sept. 1.

SpaceX’s is leasing Pad 39A from NASA and has renovated to handle Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches. The Falcon 9 launches will include Crew Dragon flights to the International Space Station.

Space Florida Seeking to Bring Solid Fuel Manufacturer to State

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Space FloridaSpace Florida is pursuing an agreement under which a manufacturer of small solid rocket motor propellant would set up a U.S. operations at the Titusville-Cocoa Airport (TICO).

The initiative, code named Project Swanson, would bring approximately 80 jobs with an average wage of $83,000 to the state, according to the agenda for the Space Florida Board of Directors meeting on Sept. 28.

“The company is seeking third party financing for the construction of facilities and purchase of equipment,” the agenda states. “Total capital investment is estimated not to exceed $4,000,000.”

Space Florida is seeking approval from the board to negotiate long-termagreements with the company to secure land at TICO, construct and lease facilities, and acquire and lease equipment.

Space Florida is also requesting approval to secure bank financing on behalf of the unnamed company. The board will approved specific terms of the agreements at a future meeting.

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

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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.

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Space Florida, Israel Innovation Authority Announce Fourth Call for Projects

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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.

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Space Florida Approves Financial Measures for Blue Origin, OneWeb

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space_florida_logoThe Space Florida Board of Directors approved funding measures last week to support project by Blue Origin and OneWeb. The spending includes:

  • $2.7 million for transportation improvements between Blue Origin’s launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the rocket production facility it is building at Exploration Park; and,
  • $3 million for a short-term bridge loan to OneWeb in support of a planned satellite manufacturing facility at Exploration Park.

Read the full story.

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Space Florida, Israel Award R&D Funding

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Space FloridaEXPLORATION PARK, Fla., (Space Florida PR) – Space Florida, the aerospace and spaceport development authority for the State of Florida, and the Israeli Office of the Chief Scientist through MATIMOP, Israel’s Industrial Center for Research and Development, announce the third-round winners of industrial research and development funding tied to the Space Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership Program.

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NASA, Space Florida Invite Companies to Commercialize NASA Tech

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (Space Florida PR) — Space Florida has partnered with the NASA-KSC (Kennedy Space Center) Technology Transfer Office inviting commercial industry, as well as Early Stage & Growth Stage companies, to develop and utilize NASA technology and Intellectual Property (IP) in the marketplace.

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Space Coast EDC Looks to Ensure U.S. Leadership in Space

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Brevard County, Fla., May 16, 2016 (Florida Space Coast EDC)
– The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC) has joined leading space industry associations such as the Space Foundation, Space Florida and the Satellite Industry Association in the drive to educate congressional leaders on the critical role of the U.S. space program. Long-term support of our space program benefits the nation’s economy, security, leadership and high-quality American jobs.

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Report: One Web to Build Satellites in Florida

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OneWeb constellation. (Credit: Airbus Defence & Space)

OneWeb constellation. (Credit: Airbus Defence & Space)

UPDATE: One Web’s Greg Wyler has confirmed that Virgin Galactic will be launching satellites out of Florida with its 747 and LauncherOne rocket. It’s not clear where they will be based, but my guess is the former Shuttle Landing Facility that Space Florida has taken over. Cecil Field in Jacksonville is another possibility.

It looks like One Web is going to be building its hundreds of satellites on Florida’s Space Coast.

A major announcement scheduled Tuesday morning is expected to confirm a high-profile startup’s decision to build hundreds of satellites on the Space Coast that will help expand global Internet access.

Space Florida’s deal with OneWeb promises to generate 250 jobs and $80 million in capital investment, including a $36 million factory to be built at Kennedy Space Center’s Exploration Park on Merritt Island.

Coming months after Blue Origin announced plans to build rockets in the same area, OneWeb’s arrival would further diversify a region long defined as a launch site for vehicles made elsewhere.

And it would establish Exploration Park as a major manufacturing hub near communities hit hard by the space shuttle’s retirement five years ago.

Coalition Issues Plan for Ensuring U.S. Leadership in Space

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Earth_from_Orbit
WASHINGTON (AIAA PR) — A coalition of space organizations today released a joint white paper, “Ensuring U.S. Leadership in Space,” at a National Press Club Newsmaker news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

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Space Florida Issues Call for Projects

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space_florida_logoKENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla, Feb. 26, 2016 (Space Florida PR)– Space Florida has announced its Call for Projects to solicit proposals to continue the development of space transportation infrastructure that supports Space Florida’s legislative intent and Florida spaceport territory master plans.

Each year, Space Florida issues this Call for Projects to allow the aerospace industry the opportunity to submit projects for consideration into the subsequent year’s Work Program and Spaceport Improvement Program.

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Space Florida Thanks Governor, Legislature for Support

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space_florida_logoKENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., February 03, 2016 (Space Florida PR) – Today, when Florida Space Day participants visit the legislature as they have for well over 20 years, Space Florida would like to take the opportunity to thank the Governor and Florida legislature for their tremendous support of the industry through the power of Florida’s unique economic development toolkit.  The aerospace industry in Florida is thriving, with much more to come.
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Is this Space Florida’s Mysterious Project Sabel?

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space_florida_logoAt a meeting last week, Space Florida’s Board of Directors agreed to allow staff to proceed with Project Sabel, an initiative to bring an unnamed company interested in establishing a “major aerospace presence” in the Sunshine State.

The project would involve an initial capital investment of $80 million, including a $36 million manufacturing facility, and generate approximately 250 high-paying jobs. Space Florida would finance, build and own the manufacturing facility and lease it to the company under a long-term agreement, according to board documents. The project would be eligible for $17.5 million in matching funds from the Florida Department of Transportation.

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Space Florida Approves Funding Deals With Blue Origin, Moon Express & CASIS

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Brig. Gen. Steven Garland, 14th Air Force vice commander, left, provides remarks at a Blue Origin media event held at Space Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, Sept 15, 2015. (Credit: USAF/Matthew Jurgens)

Brig. Gen. Steven Garland, 14th Air Force vice commander, left, provides remarks at a Blue Origin media event held at Space Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, Sept 15, 2015. (Credit: USAF/Matthew Jurgens)

At its meeting on Thursday, the Space Florida Board of Directors approved  $26.4 million in funding for Blue Origin and smaller deals with Moon Express and CASIS.

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