Space Florida Chief Lays Out Plans for 2009 and Beyond as Shuttle Program Winds Down

Pursue commercial opportunities in space
Op-Ed by Space Florida President Steve Kohler
Orlando Sentinel

With satellite-related consumer services on the rise — GPS navigation, satellite TV and radio — there will be increasing interest in launching new generations of satellites from locations like Florida. What may be less obvious are space-related applications for life sciences, biotech and pharmaceuticals.

We will aim to pursue more of these types of partnerships in 2009. Additionally, Space Florida will work to build a launch complex at Cape Canaveral, which should be ready for its first customer by fall 2010. We are already talking with commercial launch providers interested in using this pad.

Finally, in 2009, we will work with legislators to designate launch- and payload-processing facilities affiliated with Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as part of a “commercial launch zone” to extend tax benefits, like those of a free trade zone, to customers. This will give Florida an advantage over other states in attracting commercial space interests as the shuttle heads for retirement.