Space Florida will pay to fly a scientist and student experiments from Florida on Virgin Galactic’s suborbital spaceship, an investment intended to stimulate interest in science and technology education and boost the state’s role in space-based research.
The state agency’s board on Wednesday unanimously approved spending up to $400,000 for two seats on a flight.
“We want to be able to position Florida to be the ground node for a lot of that kind of access,” Space Florida President Frank DiBello said during the meeting in Fort Lauderdale.
A competition is planned to select the researcher and payloads to be flown in microgravity for about five minutes on Virgin’s SpaceShipTwo, which would take off with a carrier aircraft from the company’s New Mexico spaceport….
In addition to the educational motives of buying tickets on a Virgin flight, Space Florida envisions establishing a local base of customers for suborbital research that will eventually lead that company and others to fly from Florida.
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