Still trying to drum up state support in Florida

Efforts in Florida to date to get the state to approve incentives to lure CEV and other space companies to the state have not yielded results. So, earlier this week state Rep. Bob Allen, a leading proponent of such incentives, announced a deal with several labor unions where the unions would provide $250 million from their pension funds in a Aerospace Workforce Challenge Fund for such incentives. The catch? The state has to match that amount. In an editorial Friday, Florida Today backs the idea to support the space industry before the shuttle’s impending retirement takes out a big swath of the existing space business in the state and before other states take a bigger lead over Florida in new commercial space ventures. “Lawmakers should see this as a wise investment in Florida’s high technology future, and ante up,” the editorial notes. The paper can’t resist a dig at Gov. Jeb Bush, who has not shown much public enthusiasm for the earlier state-only investment fund proposals. “So far, the effort hasn’t gained traction, because Gov. Jeb Bush doesn’t have the vision.”

9 comments to Still trying to drum up state support in Florida

  • stev wundr

    I heart this article

  • chance

    The Falcon 1 just launched. Then my connection went out, so I don’t know if it made it. Hope so.

  • http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon/f1/status.html

    Maybe this business really is as hard as they say. This has to be at least a short-term setback to the spaceflight can be easy and cheap crowd. . . .

    — Donald

  • chance

    Ouch. Setback might not be a strong enough word. I was explaining to the wife while we watched that this launch might be historic…. I just didn’t anticipate in what way.

  • It’s hard to imagine anyone being more careful than Mr. Musk was. This is sad news, indeed.

    — Donald

  • It’s hard to imagine anyone being more careful than Mr. Musk was.

    But it isn’t impossible to imagine. People whose rockets don’t crash are more careful.

    The lesson is that spaceflight is indeed harder than a lot of the CATS/RLV people think it is. Which is not to say that Musk shouldn’t try. More power to him, if he has enough humility.

  • AJ mackenzie

    So what does all of this Falcon 1 discussion have to do with the original post?

  • AJ Mackenzie: So what does all of this Falcon 1 discussion have to do with the original post?

    It should serve as a warning to those who think that a space revolution is just around the corner. That includes state politicians who want to toss pension and tax money at “space ports”.

  • Paul Torrance

    I like what Mr. Roger’s said in the Rogers Commission regarding success and failure…how we Americans tend to be too exuberant of our successes and failures at times…short sighted.

    What if the Columbia foam strike had been a tad smaller… or larger? What if the SpaceShipOne pilot had bailed out as he pondered doing? What if the Falcon had succeeded? Unfortunately politicians watch the roller coaster ride and knee-jerk react for the quick vote.

    We need more engineers to quantify the reliabilities and do the destructive tests like some of the automakers, up front, including small scale tests. The rush to beat the Soviets culture still prevails, but to no purpose, especially no long term continuous improvement purpose. Everyone is in an Apollo gold rush, but the space age gold rush is over.

    The long term vision should be Mars at constant or slightly reduced budget, and probability of success defined and understood up front – only then should risk be quantified.