Space group publishes recommendations

Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 8:40 p.m.
CAPE CANAVERAL - A commission will recommend that Florida create its own private spaceport, separate from the federally controlled property at Cape Canaveral, Florida Today reported Tuesday.
The paper, citing an executive summary of a report to be released today, said the spaceport is one of 18 recommendations the Governor's Commission on the Future of Space and Aeronautics plans to make.
The commission was established to help the state compete for space tourism business as NASA starts winding down its shuttle program. The space industry represents $4.5 billion of the state's economy, according to a recent Florida Senate report.
Other recommendations include combining three space-related government agencies into one, improving space education programs, protecting current space jobs and creating new ones, and making sure the state retains a shuttle work force after NASA's orbiters retire in 2010, the newspaper said.
"I can tell you that anyone who has attended our public meetings or hearings is going to find no surprises in the final report," commission member Jim Banke told the newspaper. "We're going to talk about education. We're going to talk about how to market the state's space resources. We're going to talk about economic development."
The commission said a spaceport, run like an airport, could lure business beyond today's traditional rocket-launch firms. The report will also recommend the state provide financial incentives and seed money for space companies and startups, according to the newspaper.

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