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Ahead Of Legislative Session, "Space Day" Highlights Florida's Private Space Industry

Florida Capitol Building in Tallahassee. Source: WikiMedia Commons
Florida Capitol Building in Tallahassee. Source: WikiMedia Commons

Space industry stakeholders are meeting Tuesday with lawmakers in Tallahassee ahead of this year’s legislative session. Space Day is hosted by Space Florida, the state agency responsible for courting private space business to the Sunshine State.

The agency is asking for some $7 million over the next year to help secure funding for future projects and to help other developments move forward. Private companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin and OneWeb Satellites have used these state resources to set up shop on the Space Coast.

As the industry grows, more and more companies consider Florida to set up shop. Now that we are not only launching but also manufacturing the satellites, the capsule and the rockets, that puts us in a much stronger position to capture an ever-larger share of the growing commercial space marketplace,” said Space Florida's Dale Ketcham.

Other private companies, like United Launch Alliance, are participating in "Space Day" at the state capital.

The private industry will need a skilled workforce to keep that development going, said Ketcham. While it’s not something that falls under Space Florida’s scope, "it is our job to point out that this is a priority that needs to be addressed.”

The agency is also asking the legislature to allocate around $12.5 million for operational costs. The state legislative session begins March 5.

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.