Aerospace means business as Florida Space Day comes to Capitol today

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Former NASA astronaut Bob Crippen visits the Florida Capitol today to show legislators that “aerospace means business” in Florida’s $9 billion space industry.

Aerospace “translates into high tech, high paying jobs for Florida,” said Florida Space Day Chair Patty Stratton. “The decisions made in both Tallahassee and Washington D.C. in regard to the space program will greatly affect the state.”

Crippen, pilot of the first orbital test flight of the Shuttle, also served as Kennedy Space Center Director. Space Day will not only have Crippen appearing throughout the Capitol, but there will be space-related exhibits at various locations on the third floor Capitol Rotunda.

Promoters will also meet with Gov. Rick Scott, as well as members of the House and Senate.

Aerospace is an essential part of the state’s economy, which has the third largest space industry in the U.S.

Florida has been home to two of eight commercially licensed U.S. spaceports and is only one of three states operating commercial orbital launches.

 “Home to over almost 500 aerospace companies employing over 30,000 professionals, Florida must continue to retain, grow and diversify the business of space,” Stratton said. “We want Florida to continue its aggressive stance to create a robust atmosphere for space exploration and business.”

With changing technologies and increasing global competition, the Florida aerospace industry is at a vital crossroads. The goal of Space Day is for the nearly 30 aerospace technology participants to keep lawmakers abreast of the latest developments.

Companies contributing to Florida Space Day, include:

  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • The Boeing Company
  • Brazil-Florida Chamber of Commerce
  • Craig Technologies
  • Computer Science Raytheon
  • Dynamac Corporation
  • Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Harris Corporation
  • Lockheed Martin
  • QinetiQ North America
  • Space Coast Launch Services
  • Space Florida
  • SpaceX

For more information on Florida Space Day 2014, visit, the Space Day Facebook page or follow on Twitter at @FLSpaceDay.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.