Vice President Pence set to lead final National Space Council meeting on Wednesday
This is happening as Vice President Mike Pence is making a stop on the Space Coast this week for his final space council meeting, weeks before a new administration moves in. “It’s an extraordinarily exciting time in the life of this program,” Pence said in May, at the last meeting of the council. Pence is set to return to the Cape this Wednesday to lead his final National Space Council’s meeting. “The National Space Council has been a real positive development for the U.S. space program,” said Dale Ketcham of Space Florida. Space Florida expects a new presidency to keep the National Space Council, but its direction and its policies moving forward could change.
Patrick Air Force Base remains on short list to host U.S. Space Command HQ
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County’s Patrick Air Force Base is still in the running to host the military’s 11th unified combatant command known as the U.S. Space Command. Not to be confused with the U.S. Space Force, the branch under the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Space Command oversees national security missions in space, many of which already launch from Florida’s Space Coast. The U.S. Space Command was previously established in 1985 to coordinate the use of outer space by the branches of the U.S. military but later disbanded. [TRENDING: County prepares for vaccine | Remote learning continues in spring | ‘We’re failing:’ Mayors call for COVID-19 action]Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado-- which is the temporary home of the USSPACECOM-- Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico; Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; Joint Base San Antonio, Texas; and Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska are also among the six finalists. During the next phase, the Air Force will conduct both virtual and in person site visits at all six locations.
Gov. Ron DeSantis meets with aerospace leaders to sign Space Florida bill
Ron DeSantis met with aerospace leaders in Merritt Island Thursday to sign a bill providing more incentives for space companies to come to Florida for the state’s spaceport authority. The Florida governor’s visit to the Space Coast comes about two hours after the successful launch of NASA’s next Mars rover, named Perseverance. The event was held Space Florida headquarters during which the governor signed House bill 717 that provides Space Florida more wiggle room to lure companies to the state. “The bill will provide Space Florida with additional flexibility to issue bonds and provide financing for commercial space and aerospace projects,” DeSantis said. Space Florida will be able to offer 30 year bonds instead of 40 year making them more attractive to investors, according to the governor.
Space Force headquarters: Brevard, Orange, Seminole counties backed by DeSantis
Ron DeSantis has endorsed six Florida counties and three cities that hope to land the command headquarters of the U.S. Space Force. In a letter Monday to Air Force Assistant Secretary John Henderson, DeSantis supported the proposals by Jacksonville, Pensacola, Brevard County, Miami-Dade County, Orange County, Pinellas County, Seminole County and a joint proposal from Tampa and Hillsborough County. “Our state has a long history of support for our nation’s effort in space through the operations of the Kennedy Space Center, the 45th Space Wing at Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,” DeSantis wrote in the letter released late Wednesday by his office. President Donald Trump in December signed a law that created the Space Force as a separate branch of the military. The proposal also would repeal a requirement that Space Florida advise House and Senate leaders before presenting bond proposals to the governor and Cabinet.