Former NASA astronaut Bob Crippen will be on hand to help educate Florida legislators returning for the 2014 legislative session on the importance of the aerospace industry and Florida’s $9 billion space industry.
Florida Space Day 2014 brings the space industry to the Capitol March 12.
“Aerospace means business, and that translates into high tech, high paying jobs for Florida,” said 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, a former astronaut who also served as Kennedy Space Center Director and pilot of the first orbital test flight of the Shuttle program, will be making appearances in the Capitol throughout the day. Space-related exhibits will also be at various locations on the third floor Rotunda.
Aerospace advocates will hold a series of sessions with members of both the House and Senate, and Gov. Rick Scott.
“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.”
Aerospace has been an essential part of Florida’s economy, with the third largest space industry in the U.S. The Sunshine State is home to two of eight commercially licensed U.S. spaceports and is one of three states conducting commercial orbital launches.
Space Day comes to Tallahassee at a pivotal moment as the aerospace industry faces changing technologies and increasing global competition.
Nearly 30 aerospace technology companies will participate in Florida Space Day, including:
- 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