Florida Legislators Eye Tax Free Launches, State Subsidy for New Launch Complex

Falcon 9 launches 49 Starlink satellites from Florida. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

Faced with increased competition from Texas, Georgia and other states, Florida legislators are eyeing new ways to keep companies launching from the Sunshine State. Florida Politics reports:

Zero G Zero Fee’ bills would create tax exemptions for anything launched into space from Florida.

What if a company could launch a rocket into space from Florida and pay no sales tax on the rocket, its payload, its fuel or even the concrete, steel and equipment needed to create the launch pad?

That would be the reality if lawmakers this Session approve legislation from Sen. Tom Wright and Rep. Tyler Sirois (SB 1466HB 65)…

At the same time, Republican Rep. Rene Plasencia of Orlando has introduced HB 9233, which would provide a $10 million appropriation for Florida to build a new multiuser launch pad at Cape Canaveral. Space Florida, the state’s space business development agency, has talked about the need for a launch pad that could be leased on a per-launch basis by companies that don’t have their own launch facilities, as SpaceX, United Launch Alliance and others do.

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Falcon 9 Launches 49 Starlink Satellites From Florida

Falcon 9 launches 49 Starlink satellites. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

SpaceX launched 49 Starlink satellites into orbit aboard a Falcon 9 on Thursday, marking the start of the 2022 orbital launch campaign. The booster lifted off at 4:49 p.m. EST from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

SpaceX has now launched 1,944 satellites into orbit for its broadband satellite network, with 1,764 currently working. Elon Musk’s company has received approval to launch just under 12,000 Starlink satellites from the Federal Communications Commission. It has an application to launch 30,000 additional satellites to bring the constellation to nearly 42,000 spacecraft.

It was the fourth launch and landing of this Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously launched GPS III-4, GPS III-5, and Inspiration4.

SpaceX to Launch 49 Starlink Satellites on Thursday Afternoon

Credit: SpaceX

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — SpaceX is targeting Thursday, January 6 for a Falcon 9 launch of 49 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The instantaneous launch window is at 4:49 p.m. EST, or 21:49 UTC, and a backup opportunity is available on Friday, January 7 at 4:28 p.m. EST.

Falcon 9’s first stage booster supporting this mission previously launched GPS III-4, GPS III-5, and Inspiration4. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will land on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

You can watch the live launch webcast starting about 20 minutes before liftoff. 

SpaceX Notches 100th First Stage Landing, Sets New Annual Launch Record

A SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft launches on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy for the company’s 24th commercial resupply services mission for NASA. (Credits: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — On December 21, 2021, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched Dragon on the 24th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-24) mission for NASA from historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, completing our 31st and final launch of the year. Dragon separated from Falcon 9’s second stage about twelve minutes after liftoff and will autonomously dock to the space station on Wednesday, December 22.

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Detergent, Skin Bioprinter Launch on NASA’s SpaceX Resupply Mission

A SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft launches on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy for the company’s 24th commercial resupply services mission for NASA. (Credits: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — A SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft carrying more than 6,500 pounds of science experiments, crew supplies, and other cargo is on its way to the International Space Station after launching at 5:07 a.m. EST Tuesday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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Two Astronauts Receive Assignments for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 Mission

NASA crew members of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission to the International Space Station. Pictured from left are NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA has assigned two crew members to launch on the agency’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission – the sixth crew rotation flight aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station.

NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg will serve as spacecraft commander and pilot, respectively, for the mission. The agency’s international partners will assign additional crew members as mission specialists in the future.

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SpaceX Plans Two Super Heavy/Starship Launch Complexes at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

SpaceX has proposed two Super Heavy/Starship launch complex at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center near Pad 39A and at Launch Complex 49 (Notational LC-49). (Credit: NASA)

SpaceX Starship Super Heavy Operations at the Kennedy Space Center
NASA Fact Sheet

Project Description

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) submitted a proposal to expand its Starship/Super Heavy program operations at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). This proposal was submitted through the Land Use Notice of Availability (NOA) process to construct and operate a new launch complex (LC-49) as well as expand SpaceX’s existing operations near Roberts Road.  

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NASA Sets Coverage, Invites Public to Virtually Join Next Cargo Launch

SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon spacecraft, seen atop a Falcon 9 rocket, at the launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Aug. 24, 2021, in preparation for the company’s 23rd commercial resupply services mission. (Credits: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA commercial cargo launch provider SpaceX is targeting 5:06 a.m. EST Tuesday, Dec. 21, to launch its 24th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. Liftoff will be from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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Merck, Procter & Gamble Among Private-Sector Partners Launching Research to the ISS on SpaceX CRS-24

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., December 13, 2021 (CASIS PR) – SpaceX’s upcoming 24th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the International Space Station (ISS) will include more than 15 payloads sponsored by the ISS National Laboratory, managed by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, Inc. (CASIS). These payloads include multiple investigations from private-sector entities, including two supported by highly recognizable companies: Merck and Procter & Gamble.

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SpaceX Begins Building Starship Launch Complex at NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39A

The launch complex in Florida will supplement the one being built at SpaceX’s facility at Boca Chica, Texas.

NASA issued a statement about the project.

NASA signed a property agreement with SpaceX in 2014 which allows them to develop Space Launch Complex 39A to serve as a platform for the company’s commercial launch activities.

It’s within the rights of their lease agreement to make launch infrastructure improvements within the boundaries of the pad.

In 2019, NASA conducted an environmental assessment and granted permission for SpaceX to begin construction within the pad perimeter. Approval is only to build at this time. Launchings and landings will involve another approval process.

NASA TV to Air IXPE Prelaunch Activities, Launch

NASA’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) mission is the first satellite dedicated to measuring the polarization of X-rays from a variety of cosmic sources, such as black holes and neutron stars. (Credits: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) mission, the first satellite dedicated to measuring the polarization of X-rays from a variety of cosmic sources, such as black holes and neutron stars.

IXPE is scheduled to launch no earlier than 1 a.m. EST Thursday, Dec. 9, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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NASA Assigns Astronaut Jessica Watkins to NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 Mission

NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins is scheduled to fly to space for the first time as part of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission launching to the International Space Station. (Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA has assigned astronaut Jessica Watkins to serve as a mission specialist on the agency’s upcoming SpaceX Crew-4 mission, the fourth crew rotation flight of the Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station.

This will be Watkins’ first trip to space following her selection as an astronaut in 2017. Watkins joins NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Robert Hines, as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, as a crew member for the Crew-4 mission.

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Weather Delays Crew-3 Flight to Station to Nov. 3

SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts (from left) Matthias Maurer, Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron pose for a portrait during preflight training at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA and SpaceX now are targeting 1:10 a.m. EDT Wednesday, Nov. 3, for the agency’s Crew-3 launch to the International Space Station due to a large storm system meandering across the Ohio Valley and through northeastern United States this weekend, elevating winds and waves in the Atlantic Ocean along the Crew Dragon flight path for the Oct. 31 launch attempt.

Weather conditions along the ascent corridor are expected to improve for a Nov. 3 launch attempt, and the 45th Weather Squadron forecast predicts an 80% chance of favorable weather conditions at the launch site.

NASA astronauts Raja Chari, mission commander, Tom Marshburn, pilot, and Kayla Barron, mission specialist and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, also a mission specialist, will launch on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Crew-3 astronauts are scheduled for a long-duration science mission aboard the orbiting laboratory, living and working as part of what is expected to be a seven-member crew.

Launch Nov. 3 would have Crew-3 arriving at the space station later the same day about 11 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, for a short handover with the astronauts that flew to the station as part of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission.

Crew-2 NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet are currently targeting return in early November. Crew-3 astronauts are set to return in late April 2022.

NASA Sets Coverage for SpaceX Crew-3 Briefings, Events, Broadcasts

SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts (from left) Matthias Maurer, Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron pose for a portrait during preflight training at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission with astronauts to the International Space Station. This is the third crew rotation mission with astronauts on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and the fourth flight with astronauts, including the Demo-2 test flight, as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

The launch is targeted for 2:21 a.m. EDT Sunday, Oct. 31, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Crew Dragon Endurance is scheduled to dock to the space station at 12:10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 1. Prelaunch activities, launch, and docking will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

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NASA, SpaceX Adjust Next Crew Launch Date to Space Station

SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts (from left) Matthias Maurer, Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron pose for a portrait during preflight training at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA and SpaceX now are targeting 2:21 a.m. EDT Sunday, Oct. 31, for the agency’s Crew-3 launch to the International Space Station to allow additional time for spacecraft processing. The backup launch time and date is 1:10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3.

NASA astronauts Raja Chari, mission commander, Tom Marshburn, pilot, and Kayla Barron, mission specialist as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, also a mission specialist, will launch on the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft and its Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The international crew entered their official quarantine Oct. 16, and will travel to Kennedy in the coming days for final training and preparations prior to launch.

Crew-3 astronauts are scheduled for a long-duration science mission aboard the orbiting laboratory, living and working as part of what is expected to be a seven-member crew. Launch on Oct. 31 would have Crew-3 arriving at the space station early on the morning of Monday, Nov. 1, for a short handover with the astronauts who flew to the station in April as part of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission.

With the Crew-3 launch date adjustment, return of Crew-2 with NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, currently is planned for early November with splashdown of Crew Dragon Endeavour at one of seven landing zones off the coast of Florida.