Space Florida, Israel Innovation Authority Announce Fifth Round Winners of Innovation Partner Funding

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.

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Space Florida Approves Funding for Multiple Projects

Conceptual SpaceX hangar for Falcon maintenance and storage

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 Today reports.

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.

Florida to Subsidize SpaceX & Blue Origin Projects at KSC

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.

Space Florida, Made In Space Forge Financing Agreement

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.

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Space Florida Announces Partnership with NASA for Orion Testing

The LEMNOS project will provide laser communications services to NASA’s Orion vehicle, show in this artist concept. (Credit: NASA)

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.

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Space Tug Company Wins Space Florida Innovation Prize

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.”

XCOR Owes $27.5 Million to Creditors, Orbital Outfitters Out of Business

Lynx engine hot fire. (Credit: XCOR)

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.

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Space Florida Negotiating to Bring New Launcher to Cape Canaveral

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.

Read the full story.

Groups Praise First National Space Council Meeting

Vice President Mike Pence delivers opening remarks during the National Space Council’s first meeting. (Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

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.

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Space Florida and the Israel Innovation Authority Announce Fifth Joint Call for Projects

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.

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Space Florida Transforms SLC-46 for New Launch Capabilities

Athena-2 rocket at SLC-46. (Credit: NASA)

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACEPORT (August 17, 2017) – On August 25, Orbital ATK is scheduled to launch its Minotaur 4 rocket from Space Florida’s Space Launch Complex (SLC) 46 at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. The launch of the ORS 5 mission for the US Air Force (USAF), will be the first launch from the pad since 1999, as well as the first since Space Florida renovated the complex.

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New Supersonic Technology Designed to Reduce Sonic Booms

This rendering shows the Lockheed Martin future supersonic advanced concept featuring two engines under the wings and one on top of the fuselage (not visible in this image).

By Bob Granath
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Residents along Florida’s Space Coast will soon hear a familiar sound — sonic booms. But instead of announcing a spacecraft’s return from space, they may herald a new era in faster air travel.

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Groups Praise Selection of Pace to Lead National Space Council

Scott Pace (Credit: GWU)

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation and Space Florida praised the selection of Scott Pace to lead the newly revived National Space Council.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Scott for many years, and look forward to continuing to do so following his appointment.” said CSF President, Eric Stallmer.

CSF board chairman Alan Stern added, “Scott is a leader who will serve the National Space Council well. We look forward to working closely with Scott and the rest of the NSC to advance the United States space enterprise by leveraging the U.S. commercial space industry’s vision, investment, and innovation.”

Space Florida also issued a statement of support.

“Space Florida applauds President Trump’s appointment of Scott Pace as the Executive Director of the newly formed National Space Council. Scott’s long experience across the many facets of this nation’s growing space enterprise will serve the Administration and the country well. Following so closely after the Vice President’s visit to the Cape Canaveral Spaceport, this is further testament to the commitment of this White House to America’s space program and its commercial opportunities.

We look forward to working with Scott, the Vice President and others on the Council and the User’s Advisory Group to consolidate US leadership in space.”

Space Florida, Israel Innovation Authority Announce New Funding Round

EXPLORATION PARK, Fla., and AIRPORT CITY, ISRAEL (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 and to elevate the entire economy through technological innovation, announce the fourth-round winners of industrial research and development funding tied to the Space Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership Program.

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DiBello: Florida Faces Possible Shortage of Aerospace Talent

Space Florida President Frank DiBello
Space Florida President Frank DiBello

Florida’s success in drawing companies such as Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman and OneWeb to the Space Coast could create a shortage of aerospace talent in the future, Space Florida CEO Frank DiBello said on Tuesday.

“I would even go so far as to say that this is the area I am most worried about for our aerospace future,” DiBello told several hundred guests at a National Space Club Florida Committee meeting in Cape Canaveral….

The Space Coast, anchored by the civil and military and space programs at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, has long been a hub for skilled aerospace workers.

And new companies had a ready supply to draw from after the retirement of NASA’s shuttle program in 2011 resulted in roughly 8,000 layoffs of contractors.

But looking ahead, DiBello said Florida does not produce enough aerospace-related degrees and lags a dozen states in attracting federal funding for space-related research, metrics that need to improve.

A source on the Space Coast recently told Parabolic Arc that NASA’s exploration ground system program, which is developing supporting infrastructure for the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft, has been impacted by workers taking positions with Blue Origin, which is building a rocket production facility nearby and modifying a launch pad at Cape Canaveral.
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