A Note on Space Florida

Space FloridaRecently, there's been a fair amount of talk about Space Florida, the organization charged with promoting and developing Florida's aerospace industry. On Sunday, the Orlando Sentinel published both an article and an editorial painting Space Florid in a rather unflaterring light. The prompted a response from Space Florida's president, Steve Kohler.

Now, I'm not the best judge of Space Florida's performance, by any means. I gave up my Florida driver's license and voting registration a long time ago, so I'm not a stakeholder in that sense. I haven't had the chance to work with Space Florida anywhere near as frequently as I have with our good friends in New Mexico--who have been some of the best friends that this Foundation could ask for.

However, the Google Lunar X PRIZE has offered me some chance to watch Space Florida at work. We've had two major areas of overlap with Space Florida on that prize: first, the agency stepped forward by offering a Bonus Prize of $2 million to the winner of the competition if they launch from Florida. Secondly, I know that they were very instrumental in helping encourage the formation of what eventually became team Omega Envoy. In both cases, the express purpose of their efforts was to promote commercial space enterprise in the state of Florida. Also in both cases, these efforts were started by and internally pushed within Space Florida without any real prompting on our part.

Small sample size, I know. But I did want to chime in with that positive story.

I think there is plenty of room for many commercial spaceports in states all around the USA and in countries all around the world. I also know that the staff of each of those spaceports and each regional space authority are dealing with a volatile emerging industry, where the correct path forward and the most important players are rarely obvious. Hopefully Space Florida and their brethren in all of those other locations will continue to find ways to offer ever-improving services to this emerging new industry of NewSpace entrepreneurs!

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