The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from space launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., early Tuesday, May 22, 2012. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Tallahassee, Fla. 3-6-13
Astronauts invaded Florida's capitol building today.
It's all part of the annual Space Day. Both NASA and private space officials and lobbyists stopped by to promoted and advocate for programs in the state.
Despite NASA retiring the space shuttle program, billions of dollars are still brought into the state through space and tech jobs. However, Florida has to battle other states with space programs like Texas, California and even New Mexico.
"There's a lot of competition with the state of Florida now," said Space Day chair Don White. "We want to make sure that [just because the] Shuttle has retired but the space industry is very important to us and in some ways it will be better that we're diversified."
Press Release: Lockheed Martin Corporation
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL - Representatives from Florida's aerospace industry will visit Tallahassee on March 6, 2013, to participate in Florida Space Day 2013 and share with legislators opportunities the industry brings to Florida and the nation's space program.
Former NASA Astronaut Bob Crippen, pilot of the first orbital test flight of the Shuttle program and former NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Director, will be making appearances throughout the event. Space-related exhibits will also be available on the third floor rotunda of the Capitol.
"Florida is home to nearly 450 aerospace companies that employ 31,000 professionals," said Don M. White Jr., chairman of Florida Space Day 2013. "This year's event is critical, as the state's space industry looks to expand and diversify its space-related and non-traditional opportunities."
During Space Day, industry leaders and other aerospace supporters will meet with House and Senate members, as well as with Florida's Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, to discuss the state's $8 billion space industry and determine the best strategies for leveraging this market for Florida's benefit in the years ahead.
"We want Florida to continue its aggressive stance to create a robust atmosphere for space business," White added.
Florida Space Day participants include Abacus Technology Corporation, AECOM, ASRC Aerospace Corporation, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, Astrotech Space Operations, ATK Space Systems, Bionetics, The Boeing Company, Brevard Workforce, Craig Technologies, CSR, Delaware North Companies, D3 Air & Space Operations Inc, Dynamac Corporation, Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Harris Corporation, Indyne, ITT Exelis, L2 Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Millennium Engineering & Integration, National Space Society, Northrop Grumman Space Gateway Support, QinetiQ North America, SAIC, Space Coast Launch Services, Space Florida, SpaceX, United Launch Alliance and URS.
To learn more about Florida Space Day 2013, visit www.floridaspaceday.com join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FloridaSpaceDay and follow us on Twitter at @FLSpaceDay.
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About Florida Space Day
Florida Space Day is a milestone event that presents an opportunity to educate and bring top of mind awareness to Florida legislators on the significance of the aerospace industry and its impact on Florida's economy.
About Bob Crippen
Bob Crippen became a NASA astronaut in September 1969 and was a member of the astronaut support crew for the Skylab 2, 3, and 4 missions and for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project mission. He was the pilot of the first orbital test flight of the Shuttle program (STS-1, April 12-14, 1981) and was the commander of three additional shuttle flights: STS-7, June 18-24, 1983; STS-41C, April 6-13, 1984; and STS-41G, October 6-13, 1984. Crippen served as the KSC director from 1992 to 1995; the center processed, safely launched, and recovered 22 space shuttle Missions during his tenure.
Crippen's accomplishments have earned him many notable awards including induction into the Aerospace Walk of Honor and receipt of the SETP's J. H. Doolittle Award in 2007, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal, FAA Award for Distinguished Service, the Goddard Memorial Trophy and the Harmon Trophy, U.S. Navy Distinguished Flying Cross, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, NASA's Outstanding Leadership Medal, induction into the Astronaut Hall of Fame, Honorary Fellow and past President of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Fellow of the American Astronautical Society and Society of Experimental Test Pilots.