SpaceX: Kiss Florida's Place in the Space Race Good-bye! Spend $16 Million Making the Place a Theme Park.

Categories: El Jefe
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SpaceX, the California company that plans to help NASA and perhaps become the world leader in space travel, announced yesterday in Washington that it would send a man to space by 2015.

The firm will send one of its own employees. Last year, it was the number one private firm to send an unmanned craft to the International Space Station -- and then bring it home. Its first flight will stay in space three days.

"What's important to me is that I can look myself in the mirror ... [and say] that the risk is acceptable for me to fly," said ex-NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman, who is managing the project for Space X.

Boeing plans a follow-up the next year.

The sad thing about all of this is that Florida, which because of the fortuitous location of Cape Canaveral/Kennedy Space Center, has always played a starring role in aeronautic history, will almost certainly fade. SpaceX is in California.

The first rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral in 1950. Just about all of the Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttles took off from there, too.

These days, they prepare for Santa Claus at the JFK space center. Sure they have a space sciences garden and do interesting research, but the center's place in the pantheon of space travel is dying the death of 1,000 cuts.

What's our answer to this sad state of affairs? Like everything else in Central Florida. we will make it into a theme park. The guys who run Kennedy Space Center recently opened up off-limits parts of the park for the first time in decades. And they unveiled a $16 million, 10-year plan to turn the place into Disneyland for space.

Yuck.



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4 comments
trclark81
trclark81

Looks like my post got lost in the ether.  If not I apologize for the double post.  Either way, SpaceX is currently planning on flying nearly every flight, manned and otherwise, from Cape Canaveral.  A handful are slated for Vandenberg, as noted polar only, and some discussion is going on about Falcon 9 from Kwajelein, but nothing is set in stone.  The new spaceport, which looks likely to be located in Texas, hasn't even had full land purchases yet, more or less development.  It will be years before anything at all flies there.  Even so, it was never intended to be a replacement for the Cape.  My understanding is that all ISS flights are to be from the Cape, in fact, though that may shift a bit as other sites come online.

Elifritz
Elifritz

If anyone is Central Florida is interested, I have developed an uncrewed version of the NASA Space Launch System that uses SpaceX Falcon 9 reusable boosters and is capable of delivering the entire 300 foot tall core stage of the SLS to the surface of the poles of the moon for use as initial lunar polar bases. This could put KSC and Florida back on the Space map in a really big way, but you'll have to lobby for it yourself because there are only a couple of weeks left before the President makes his budget request. This is basically a redesign for reusablity of the Space Launch System using an entirely new lunar trajectory and more efficient tank designs where the functionality is incorporated into the vehicle and the need to support large payload masses requiring a large heavy payload fairing is removed.

pooua
pooua

SpaceX may be in Florida, but that says nothing about where they will launch. They are looking at 3 states to locate their spaceport. 


It isn't just SpaceX, though, that will shift the center of manned space launch. Virgin Galactic plans sub-orbital flights from New Mexico.

Science
Science

I would advise to you to do some research on the industry you are commenting on before you write. It is highly unlikely that Florida will disappear from the space scene simply because of physics. You cannot reasonably launch into any non-polar orbit from California, so the location of SpaceX's headquarters has little to do with it's launch sites. Florida (like a few other very southern US states) has the benefit of being close the the equator and adjacent to a large eastern body of water (for safety) . Boeing is also do a large amount of integration on their spacecraft at the Cape, and intends to launch from the Cape. Also, all (not most) manned flights (Gemini, Apollo, and the space shuttle) took off from the Cape. 

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