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Encore: Private Space Exploration Revamps Florida's Space Industry

Photo: SpaceX via Flickr Public Domain

Private aerospace manufacturer and space delivery company SpaceX made history in April when it successfully re-launched and re-landed a rocket that had already made one trip to low-Earth orbit. With roughly 70 percent of a rocket's cost sunk in the rocket, SpaceX's reuse of an orbital rocket represents a breakthrough for the economics of space exploration.

While aerospace economics may not inspire the way lunar landings have, SpaceX and other private space companies are increasingly launching ambitious efforts focused taking aim at outer space: from Blue Origin's space tourism efforts to OneWeb's ambitious plan for global internet access via satellites. Combined with NASA's own projects looking to the moon and Mars, an a recent $19.5 billion authorization for the agency's budget, all show promise to revitalize Florida's space industry with new jobs, infrastructure investment, and services linked to the aerospace industry.

In this encore presentation of Gulf Coast Live, Space Florida's chief of strategic alliances Dale Ketcham explains how a combination of Florida's "legacy" space programs and new projects herald a promising new era for Florida's space industry.

Also joining the program is WMFE's space reporter Brendan Byrne, sharing insights about the companies, people, and jobs making up the surge in Florida's space industry.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.