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.
Space Florida is scheduled to provide about $18 million to Blue Origin and SpaceX for a pair of projects, Florida Today reports.
Next Wednesday in Tampa, Space Florida’s board of directors will consider two proposals worth $14.5 million supporting SpaceX’s proposed spaceport expansion, including a hangar for Falcon rocket refurbishment and a control tower.
Another $3.4 million would support Blue Origin’s rocket manufacturing site in Exploration Park, a state-run complex on NASA property at the south end of KSC….
Most of the work is described as “common infrastructure improvements,” such as access roads and utilities that could benefit multiple tenants or guests around a site, not just the two private, billionaire-led companies.
SpaceX and Blue Origin have committed to investing $15 million and $30 million, respectively, of their own money in those improvements, and much more on the overall projects.
CAPE CANAVERAL SPACEPORT, December 11, 2017 (Space Florida PR) – In 2017, Space Florida forged a first-of-its-kind financing agreement with innovative in-space manufacturing company, Made In Space (MIS), Inc.
With operations in Jacksonville, Florida and in Silicon Valley, MIS is a market leader in the growing segment of in-space manufacturing. MIS products are utilized both in space and on Earth, and the company was the first to manufacture hardware off the planet.
CAPE CANAVERAL SPACEPORT, FL (December 5, 2017) – Today, Space Florida is pleased to announce its partnership with NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas for use of Space Launch Complex 46 for the Orion spacecraft’s Ascent Abort-2 test. The landmark Sub-License Agreement gives JSC priority use of the launch complex.
The test is an effort to verify a key part of Orion’s safety system during ascent to space before it begins missions with astronauts to deep space. The collaboration is an effort to enable and ready a key part of the Orion, America’s next generation exploration vehicle, for human spaceflight by testing from Space Florida’s Space Launch Complex (SLC) 46 at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport.
A Florida company working on developing a reusable space tug was one of two winners of the 2017 Florida VentureTech Showcase and the Space Florida Accelerating Innovation prize on Nov. 16.
Weintraus, Inc., of Daytona Beach, was awarded $25,000 in the competition, which attracted 17 Florida-based companies drawn from a pool of more than 70 applicants, Space Florida said in a press release. The 17 finalists made presentations to a group of investors and entrepreneurs in Boca Raton.
Weintraus’ Hercules II space tug will be “capable of capturing, servicing, refueling, and maneuvering multiple spacecraft in orbit,” the company says on its website. “Weintraus’ ability to resupply Hercules multiple times annually with cargo and fuel, while also having the ability to upgrade Hercules’technology via resupply missions, leads to a competitive advantage over competition. Hercules’ unique design also allows Weintraus to upgrade Hercules to become adaptable to multiple markets through simple resupply missions.”
Tellus, Inc., of Deerfield Beach, won the other $25,000 prize in the competition. The company “provides comprehensive solutions to extend healthcare beyond the hospital walls.”
The numbers are in on XCOR Aerospace’s bankruptcy, and as one would expect, they’re not real pretty.
The company has $1.1 million in assets and $1,424.66 in cash, according to documents filed with the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California. XCOR owes $27.46 million to creditors, with $23.6 million in unsecured debts and $3.86 million in liabilities secured by assets.
Space Florida is negotiating with an unidentified company to bring a new launch vehicle to Cape Canaveral. Speculation focuses Boeing’s XS-1 Phantom Express partially-reusable booster, which is a project being funded by DARPA.
If it bases operations on the Space Coast, the company referred to by the code name Project First Down over four years would bring an estimated 254 jobs with an average salary of $80,000.
“It strategically positions Florida in a good program going forward, as a preparation for what we hope will become the kind of launch cadence that we’ve been predicting five to 10 years out,” Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello told his board of directors Monday. “This really sets the stage for our ability to demonstrate that Florida can respond to that kind of demand.”
The company is a “credit-worthy, going concern with industry experience” and is evaluating multiple states with active spaceports, said Howard Haug, Space Florida’s executive vice president, treasurer and chief investment officer.
The company will commit to the Cape, Haug said, if Space Florida partners in an approximately $30 million investment that includes a deal to finance $13 million in long-lead equipment.
Praise is rolling in for the first National Space Council meeting on Thursday from the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, Space Florida and the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration.
Commercial Spaceflight Federation
Earlier today, Vice President Mike Pence chaired the first meeting of the National Space Council. The Space Council, comprised of numerous cabinet and agency heads, was briefed by industry leaders on topics of national security, civil, and commercial space. Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Sierra Nevada Corporation were among the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) member companies whose leadership briefed the Space Council. CSF also had a large contingency of member company leadership in attendance at the kickoff meeting.
EXPLORATION PARK, Fla. (Space Florida PR) — Space Florida and the Israel Innovation Authority (OCS) have issued a new joint call for project proposals valued at $2 million in research and development funding.
This is the fifth 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.