Tag: Space Florida

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.

Northrop Grumman Announces Expansion on Florida Space Coast

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edc_logo
BREVARD COUNTY, Florida
(Florida Space Coast EDC PR) – The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast is pleased to announce that Northrop Grumman Corporation has selected Brevard County for a significant expansion that could add 1,800 jobs at full program capacity at an average annual salary of $100,000.

The project, known as Project Magellan throughout the due diligence phase, is the largest economic development project in the country in terms of job creation numbers and average wage associated with employment. Northrop Grumman plans to invest approximately $500 million in new capital investments at the Melbourne International Airport.

Continue reading ‘Northrop Grumman Announces Expansion on Florida Space Coast’

Officials Move Forward With Shuttle Landing Facility Conversion

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The Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida. (Credit: NASA)

The Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida. (Credit: NASA)

Florida Today reports that officials are moving forward with the conversion of the Shuttle Landing Facility for commercial use:

NASA has applied for a federal permit to dredge and fill 40 acres of wetlands that link to the Indian River Lagoon to pave the way for commercial spacecraft that could launch and land where the space shuttle once touched down.

The application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is an early step toward readying the old shuttle strip for commercial launches, as NASA enters negotiations to have Space Florida take over the shuttle runway.

Space Florida — the agency responsible for promoting aerospace in the Sunshine State — wants to build new infrastructure at the former shuttle landing strip to support future commercial spaceflight endeavors such as XCOR Aerospace and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s planned Stratolaunch Systems. Those efforts deliver suborbital rockets by taking off and landing like planes, rather than via vertical launch pads.

“Space Florida can help finance the infrastructure to run power and utilities and stormwater a long distance out there to accommodate future growth,” said Dale Ketcham, director of strategic alliances for Space Florida.

Read the full story.

Update on Florida Legislative Space Initiatives

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Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center

Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center

The good folks at the Florida Space Development Council have provided this handy update on the fates of space initiatives during the current legislative session. It looks like it’s been a good session overall, with most objectives achieved. All approved measures are subject to veto by Gov. Rick Scott.

2014 FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE SPACE ISSUES – UPDATED 5/4/14
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 Keep Space Florida budget at same level as 2013. $4M in recurring base budget, $6M in nonrecurring funds.
Qualified Targeted Industry (QTI) Incentive Carry-Forward HB-1209 bill died in committee SB-1422 bill died in committee Allows more than one year for QTI recipients (including aerospace firms) to use tax credit allowance, or sell credits to other firms.
Space Industry Tourism Funding ($1.5M) Fully funded within Space Florida ops budget Fully funded within Space Florida ops budget Recurring budget item (from 2013) to support tourism attractions and space tourism flight business. Included in base budget.
Space Florida Financing/Investment Fund ($7M) Funded at $5M in House/Senate conference budget Funded at $5M in Senate/House conference budget $2M less than in 2013. Funding for financing deals for aerospace
expansion projects. Half can be used for infrastructure 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.
Israel Joint Aerospace Development ($1M) Fully funded within Space Florida ops budget Fully funded within Space Florida ops budget Continued funding of joint aerospace projects with Space Florida and Israel. Included in Gov’s budget request.
Shuttle Landing Facility
Transition ($2.5M)
Allowed in Financing/
Investment Fund line (above)
Allowed in Financing/
Investment Fund line (above)
Funding to transition/promote SLF for new commercial and govt users. $2.5M/year for two years suggested by some legislators.
Cecil Field Spaceport Infrastructure ($2M) Added to Space Florida ops budget Added to Space Florida ops budget Funding for Cecil Field spaceport infrastructure. Added to budget in conference committee.
Quick Response Training (QRT) Incentive ($12M) Fully funded in House budget
proposal
Fully funded in Senate budget proposal Maintaining 2013 funding level for this workforce training incentive managed by Workforce Florida. Included in Gov’s budget request.
STEM Workforce Training ($30M) Did not happen Did not happen STEM scholarships to state colleges and vocational schools. Maybe added as proviso language to budget later in session.
Embry-Riddle high school aerospace academies ($1M) Funded at $3M in House/Senate conference budget Funded at $3M in House/Senate conference budget Recurring budget item to support/expand network of high school aerospace academies in Florida.
Florida Tech space transportation research ($500K) Added to Space Florida ops budget Added to Space Florida ops budget New funding request for research on “efficient commercial space transportation system.” A larger request was vetoed last year.