Florida's 'Journey into Space' to Resume by 2017

www.sunshinestatenews.com | Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

Florida\'s \'Journey into Space\' to Resume by 2017



This week, NASA announced new private-public partnerships to revive the American space programs with new manned space flight efforts by 2017.

On Tuesday, at a media event at the Kennedy Space Center, NASA unveiled an agreement with Boeing and SpaceX to transport American astronauts to the International Space Station. Boeing’s CST-100 and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecrafts will carry out the missions.
Currently, with the end of the space shuttle program, the American space effort relies on Russia’s program to send astronauts into space.

"From day one, the Obama administration made clear that the greatest nation on Earth should not be dependent on other nations to get into space," NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden said on Tuesday "Thanks to the leadership of President Obama, the hard work of our NASA and industry teams, and support from Congress, today we are one step closer to launching our astronauts from U.S. soil on American spacecraft and ending the nation’s sole reliance on Russia by 2017. Turning over low-Earth orbit transportation to private industry will also allow NASA to focus on an even more ambitious mission – sending humans to Mars."

Boeing will get $4.2 billion under the new arrangement while SpaceX will receive $2.6 billion.

The announcement won the applause of Florida‘s political leadership.

“Today’s announcement from NASA marks an important milestone for our nation’s space program and is an exciting development for Florida and the commercial space industry,” said U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., after the partnerships were announced. “These partnerships will ensure that American astronauts are once again launched into space from American soil. As the nation’s spaceport, Florida’s Space Coast will play a crucial role in advancing this initiative and exploring low-Earth orbit. I, along with all Floridians, look forward to seeing our astronauts launch from Kennedy Space Center once again.”

Frank DiBello, the CEO of Space Florida which leads efforts to ensure the Sunshine State remains at the vanguard of space exploration, also said the new partnerships were good news for the state.

“Today’s announcement is continued good news for Florida and for the nation,” DiBello said. “It advances a new era in space transportation and is the next major step toward restoring U.S. capability to fly astronauts to the ISS and beyond. Both Boeing and SpaceX have already invested significant time and resources into establishing commercial crew operations here in Florida and we look forward to working hand-in-hand with both companies to make their upcoming missions successful.”

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