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.
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.
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.”
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.
“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. Save
Growing commercial activity at Kennedy Space Center is prompting Space Florida to seek contractors to provide more fuel and new air-traffic-control facilities at the runway known as the Shuttle Landing Facility.
The need for more fuel at the runway is prompted by more cargo flights and the potential for launching more satellites from the wings of jets.
On Wednesday, Space Florida released a request for proposals from potential fuel suppliers, calling for at least two fueling trucks that carry 5,000 gallons of Jet-A fuel, or a similar capacity.
Space Florida owns the former shuttle landing strip, and is preparing it to serve launch companies operating in the area.
The Conference, now in its tenth year, is one of the largest gatherings of angel and early stage investors in the Southeast, and features panel discussions, speakers, and presentations by some of Florida’s fastest growing private companies.
EXPLORATION PARK, Fla., March 2, 2017 (Space Florida PR) – Space Florida, and the Israel Innovation Authority (formerly known as the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Economy and MATIMOP), recently announced a record response to the Fourth Joint Call for research and development projects, tied to the Space Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership Program.
In the recent Fourth Call Joint Call for Projects, an astounding 24 joint responses were received in both Florida and Israel, which is twice the number of applications received in the Third Joint Call in February 2016.
CAPE CANAVERAL SPACEPORT, Fla. (Space Florida PR) – Space Florida has announced its Call for Projects to solicit proposals to continue the development of space transportation infrastructure that supports Space Florida’s legislative intent and Florida spaceport territory master plans.
Each year, Space Florida issues this Call for Projects to allow the aerospace industry the opportunity to submit projects for consideration into the subsequent year’s Work Program and Spaceport Improvement Program. This year, Space Florida will be accepting Space Transportation Infrastructure Matching Fund applications for fiscal years (FY) 2019 to 2023.
Applications for FY19-23 and updates to previously submitted FY18 projects are due Monday, April 17, 2017. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis for future fiscal years.
EXPLORATION PARK, Fla. (Space Florida PR) — Space Florida is proud to congratulate SpaceX for the successful docking of the CRS-10 mission with the ISS and to congratulate the 4 different experiments on board the Dragon capsule which were processed in the Space Life Sciences Lab (SLSL) in Exploration Park, Florida.
Those experiments were as follows:
Customer: CASIS/MERCK PI: Paul Reichert Protein crystal growth – pharmaceutical research (chemotherapy)
Customer: Edith Stein High School (agricultural high school in Ravensburg, Germany) PI: Maria Koch, Raphael Schilling and David Geray, German Students Vegetative propagation of plants on orbit
Customer: Intrinsyx Tech PI: John Freeman Designed to study enhanced plant growth of strong plants for astronauts on long duration Space missions
Customer: Space Tango PI: Twyman Clements
Another commercial opportunity to begin to utilize microgravity for application on Earth. The use of the SLSL for the processing of payloads for experiments and commercial operations will only grow as the flight cadence at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport increases in the years ahead.
“We’re excited to see the early investments by the State of Florida in payload processing for science and industry become a reality here at the Cape.” said Space Florida CEO Frank DiBello.
WASHINGTON, DC (Orbital Access PR) — Orbital Access Limited and Space Florida announced today that they have signed a strategic memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will see the UK space services operator establish a principal operating base at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. Orbital Access Limited is leading the development of a next generation small satellite launch system with support from the UK Space Agency to complement a portfolio of non-launch related space services to be delivered at horizontal launch spaceports, such as the Cape Canaveral Spaceport.
Announcing the signing Stuart McIntyre, CEO of Orbital Access said: “We are delighted to partner with Space Florida and the Cape Canaveral Spaceport to establish a primary service hub for the US market at the iconic heart of the Space industry in Florida. With the commercial market for small payload launch growing rapidly, the new breed of horizontal launch spaceports will become a key component in providing the access to space needed. These spaceports will become a hub for space related services ranging from simple industrial communications flights, micro gravity parabolic flight services, specialist astronaut conditioning, suborbital flying and, ultimately, small payload launch operations.”
Speaking on behalf of Space Florida, Frank DiBello said “We are delighted to welcome Orbital Access Limited to Florida as a major broad capability global operator to locate at Space Florida’s Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF). Commercial spaceports are becoming the go-to place for the wide range of space related services and activities, and access to low Earth orbit. As additional facilities develop around the world we are setting the operational template in Florida that will place us at the heart of the global spaceport system that is emerging.”
“Their selection of Florida for their payload services business reflects the deep space and aerospace industry heritage that exists in Florida and we look forward to the development of their wide range of services.”
Orbital Access Limited intends to base a fleet specialist aircraft at the SLF which will provide non-scheduled passenger services, parabolic micro gravity flight services and specialist charters. Additional services, such as simulator training and spaceflight participant conditioning, will be provided in conjunction with specialist providers in the USA. Horizontal take-off small payload launch services will be added once the development program, currently underway in the United Kingdom, is complete and operational permissions have been obtained. The development program, the Future UK Small Payload Launcher (FSPLUK) project, is being taken forward by Orbital Access Limited with an industrial team of tier 1 UK aerospace and academic partners.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (SpaceX PR) —Space Florida today announced that it has named FedEx as its preferred provider of logistics, transportation and cargo related services. Space Florida maintains and operates the historic launch and landing strip—15,000 feet long and 300 feet wide—at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center (KSC).