OneWeb Breaks Ground on Satellite Factory at Kennedy

One Web Satellites Ground Breaking ceremony at Exploration Park. (Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — The portfolio of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center will soon include large-scale satellite manufacturing following Thursday’s groundbreaking for a 150,000-square foot spacecraft factory in the center’s Exploration Park.

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Proposed Florida Budget Includes $17 Million for Blue Origin Launch Complex

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)

Billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin would receive $17 million in assistance from Florida taxpayers to renovate a dormant Cape Canaveral launch complex under Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed 2017-18 budget.

The governor’s office said the budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year starting July 1 includes $34 million for launch complex improvements that “will help attract more commercial activity to the area.”

Space Florida confirmed the total includes $17 million from the Florida Department of Transportation to help prepare Launch Complex 36, a state-run pad last used in 2005, into a site for Blue Origin’s giant New Glenn orbital rockets. The company also plans to build an engine test stand, incorporating the adjacent Launch Complex 11.

Blue Origin, the private space firm started by Amazon.com’s billionaire founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, will match the state’s investment, resulting in the $34 million budget figure cited by the state.

Bezos and Scott in September 2015 visited Launch Complex 36 to announce Blue Origin’s plans to build and launch rockets locally.

“The pad has stood silent for more than 10 years — too long,” Bezos said then. “We can’t wait to fix that.”

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Space Florida Thanks Governor, Legislature for Support

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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Gov. Scott Vetoes $6.3 Million in Space-Related Spending

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has vetoed nearly $6.3 million in funding for a half dozen space-related projects and organizations in the state’s FY 2016 budget. The vetoes include $1.5 million for infrastructure projects at the Cecil Field Spaceport and a $500,000 matching grant for the FAA Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Exploration.

The full list of vetoed space funding items follows.

LINE ITEMS VETOED AMOUNT
Florida Institute of Technology Space Research Institute$2,500,000
Cecil Field Spaceport Infrastructure$1,500,000
Educational Aerospace Partnership Center$1,000,000
Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast$   596,000
FAA Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Exploration$   500,000
US Space Walk of Fame Foundation$   200,000
TOTAL:$6,296,000

Status of Florida Space Legislation

space_florida_logoTALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 24, 2015 (FSDC PR) – Space Florida’s budget is in play during the ongoing Legislative Session in Tallahassee. The agency typically receives $10 million for its operations, which the House has budgeted, but the Senate offers only $8 million this year. Furthermore, the Senate’s budget language would prohibit any spending on the Shiloh launch site  until after an FAA environmental impact report is issued, vetted by Florida’s environmental agency, and a summary shared with the Cabinet and legislative leadership.

Another Senate amendent seeks to prohibit Space Florida spending for the operation of federal spaceport assets without first being reviewed by the state’s military support organizations to ensure the infrastructure will be available for military purposes. Also, the Senate would take an additional $2 million from Space Florida’s operating budget to fund Cecil Spaceport infrastructure. The House would fund the Cecil investments at the same amount, but without earmarking it from within Space Florida’s budget.

Meanwhile, an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University program for high-school based Aerospace Institutes would receive $3 million in the House budget and $6.5 million in the Senate’s. And a Florida Tech space research institute would receive $2.5 million in the Senate’s budget.

FSDC 2015 FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE SPACE ISSUES
ISSUE/BILLHOUSE STATUSSENATE STATUSCOMMENTS*
Space Florida Ops Budget ($10M)Included in House Trans. and Econ. Development (TED) Appropriations budgetSenate budget includes $4M recurring & $4M nonrecurring, for a total of $8MIncluded in Gov. Scott’s budget request, with $4M of recurring funding and $6M non-recurring. Senate budget seeks a 20% cut to Space Florida’s longtime budget amount.
Space Florida Financing/
Investment Fund
$5 million included in House TED budgetNot included in the Senate budget
Provided in 2014 but not included in Gov. Scott’s 2015 request. May be a legislative priority.
Space Transportation
Infrastructure Funding
“TIP” program funded at $15M in 2014 within FDOT budget allocation. Status unclear for 2015.
Shuttle Landing Facility Transition ($2.5M)Proviso earmark of $2.5M in 2014, and intended for two years by sponsoring legislators. Status unclear for 2015.
Cecil Spaceport Infrastructure ($2 Million)Included in House budgetIncluded in Senate budget, but earmarked from Space Florida’s operating budget.Not included in Gov. Scott’s request, but budgeted by House and Senate, same amount as last year.
Space Industry Tourism Funding ($1.5M)Included in House TED budgetIncluded in Senate budgetIncluded in Gov. Scott’s budget request. Continued funding for coordination with VISIT Florida to support tourism attractions and space tourism flight business.
Florida/Israel Joint Aerospace Development ($1M)Included in House TED budgetIncluded in Senate budgetIncluded in Gov. Scott’s budget request. Continued funding of joint aerospace projects with Space Florida and Israel.
Qualified Defense/Space
Contractor Tax Refund
EDTS package extends application period thru 2017, local govt must pay 20%Incentive program requires statutory change to renew application window for companies to qualify for refunds.
Quick Response Training (QRT) Incentive
Supported in 2014 by Gov. Scott. Status unclear for 2015.
Embry-Riddle high school aerospace academies $3M budgeted
$6.5M budgetedSupported by Gov. Scott in 2014 as a recurring budget item to support/expand network of high school aerospace academies. $3M was approved in 2014.
Florida Tech space research institute
$2.5 million budgetedSimilar to a request from last year ($500K approved) and from 2013 ($2M vetoed).

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

Florida Legislative Space Priorities Come Into View as Session Nears

space_florida_logoFebruary 23, 2015 (FSDC PR) — Florida’s 2015 Legislative Session will begin on March 3 and end on May 1 in Tallahassee. The biggest task for elected officials will be to approve a $77 billion spending plan, including millions of dollars for space-related programs. Governor Rick Scott in January revealed his proposed budget, which includes $12.5 million for Space Florida programs.

The Florida Space Development Council (FSDC) has tracked the progress of annual space-focused funding and policy issues in Tallahassee. FSDC is gearing up for the 2015 Session with an updated chart of space-related issues, a chart that is sure to evolve several times over the next two months.

FSDC 2015 FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE SPACE ISSUES
ISSUE/BILLHOUSE STATUSSENATE STATUSCOMMENTS*
Space Florida Ops Budget ($10M)Included in Gov. Scott’s budget request, with $4M of recurring funding and $6M non-recurring.
Space Florida Financing/
Investment Fund

Provided in 2014 but not included in Gov. Scott’s 2015 request. May be a legislative priority.
Space Transportation
Infrastructure Funding
“TIP” program funded at $15M in 2014 within FDOT budget allocation. Status unclear for 2015.
Shuttle Landing Facility Transition ($2.5M)Proviso earmark of $2.5M in 2014, and intended for two years by sponsoring legislators. Status unclear for 2015.
Space Industry Tourism Funding ($1.5M)Included in Gov. Scott’s budget request. Continued funding for coordination with VISIT Florida to support tourism attractions and space tourism flight business.
Florida/Israel Joint Aerospace Development ($1M)Included in Gov. Scott’s budget request. Continued funding of joint aerospace projects with Space Florida and Israel.
Qualified Defense/Space
Contractor Tax Refund
Incentive program requires statutory change to renew application window for companies to qualify for refunds.
Quick Response Training
(QRT) Incentive

Supported in 2014 by Gov. Scott. Status unclear for 2015.
Embry-Riddle high school aerospace academiesSigned by Governor in 2014 as a recurring budget item to
support/expand network of high school aerospace academies.

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

A Final Accounting of Florida Space Spending

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/BILLHOUSE
STATUS
SENATE STATUSCOMMENTS
Space Florida Ops Budget ($10 Million)Funded at $14.5M in House/Senate conference budgetFunded at $14.5M in Senate/House conference budgetSigned by governor.
Space Florida Financing/Investment Fund ($7M)Funded at $5M in House/Senate conference budgetFunded at $5M in Senate/House conference budgetSigned 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 2018Continued 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 budgetAdded to Space Florida ops budgetProviso 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 budgetFully funded within Space Florida ops budgetSigned 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 budgetFully funded within Space Florida ops budgetSigned 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 proposalSigned 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 budgetFunded at $3M in House/Senate conference budgetSigned 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 budgetAdded to Space Florida ops budgetProviso earmark. New funding request for research on “efficient commercial space transportation system.”
Qualified Targeted Industry (QTI) Incentive Carry-ForwardHB-1209 bill died in committeeSB-1422 bill died in committeeWould 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 conferenceAdded to budget in conferenceVetoed by governor. Continued funding for a space & technology school program for gifted students.

Cecil Spaceport Receives $2 Million for Infrastructure Upgrades

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.

FSDC Applauds State Support for Space Industry

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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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.

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Update on Florida Legislative Space Initiatives

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/BILLHOUSE
STATUS
SENATE STATUSCOMMENTS
Space Florida Ops Budget ($10 Million)Funded at $14.5M in House/Senate conference budgetFunded at $14.5M in Senate/House conference budgetKeep Space Florida budget at same level as 2013. $4M in recurring base budget, $6M in nonrecurring funds.
Qualified Targeted Industry (QTI) Incentive Carry-ForwardHB-1209 bill died in committeeSB-1422 bill died in committeeAllows 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 budgetFully funded within Space Florida ops budgetRecurring 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 budgetFunded 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 2018Continued 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 budgetFully funded within Space Florida ops budgetContinued 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 budgetAdded to Space Florida ops budgetFunding 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 proposalMaintaining 2013 funding level for this workforce training incentive managed by Workforce Florida. Included in Gov’s budget request.
STEM Workforce Training ($30M)Did not happenDid not happenSTEM 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 budgetFunded at $3M in House/Senate conference budgetRecurring budget item to support/expand network of high school aerospace academies in Florida.
Florida Tech space transportation research ($500K)Added to Space Florida ops budgetAdded to Space Florida ops budgetNew funding request for research on “efficient commercial space transportation system.” A larger request was vetoed last year.

Space Coast EDC Receives Grant to Improve Commercial Flight Safety

edc_logo“The EDC’s Defense Infrastructure Grant, secured with support from Space Florida and clearance from the U.S. Air Force, will enable the design and integration of next-generation commercial flight safety infrastructure at the Cape required to support unmanned aerial systems as well as the launch and re-entry of a full spectrum of spacecraft.”

Read the full press release after the break.

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An Update on Space-Related Legislation in Florida

Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center
Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center

May 6, 2013 (FSDC PR) – Amid increasing competition from other states and nations for space-related economic development, the Florida Legislature stepped up yet again to expand and diversify the state’s aerospace industry. In total, the Legislature approved over $43 million in space-related investments for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

“The Florida Space Development Council appreciates the Legislature’s dedication to positioning our state for an exciting future of space exploration and enterprise,” said FSDC President Laura Seward. “We especially want to thank those legislators who led the charge on specific initiatives, like Rep. Steve Crisafulli, Sen. Andy Gardiner, Sen. Dorothy Hukill, Sen. Thad Altman, Rep. Will Weatherford, Sen. Don Gaetz, and Rep. Debbie Mayfield.”

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Florida Space Development Council Backs Spending Priorities

Florida Gov. Rick Scott
Florida Gov. Rick Scott

May 13, 2013

The Honorable Rick Scott
Governor of Florida
The Capitol Building, PL-05
300 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32301

Dear Governor Scott:

The Florida Space Development Council (FSDC), a statewide membership organization affiliated with the National Space Society, was recently formed to provide grassroots advocacy for policies we believe will support the continued development and diversification of Florida’s aerospace industry.

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Florida Space Coast Gets Boost With Northrop Grumman Consolidation

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Brevard County, Fla., EDC PR
(March 4, 2013) – The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC) is pleased to announce that Northrop Grumman intends to expand its presence on the Space Coast and add more than 900 jobs, including hundreds of engineering positions.

As part of consolidation within its Aerospace Systems sector, Northrop Grumman today announced plans to open a Manned Aircraft Design Center of Excellence in Melbourne, which will include aircraft design work currently being performed at the company’s Bethpage, N.Y., facility. The company will also establish an Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence in St. Augustine.

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