Astronaut firepower headed to capital for space industry

Florida’s space industry has some astronaut firepower heading to Tallahassee.Chris Ferguson, pilot for the space shuttle Atlantis’ final mission in 2011, and Samuel Durrance, who logged more than 25 days in space, will head to the capital city for Florida...

Astronaut firepower headed to capital for space industry

Florida’s space industry has some astronaut firepower heading to Tallahassee.

Chris Ferguson, pilot for the space shuttle Atlantis’ final mission in 2011, and Samuel Durrance, who logged more than 25 days in space, will head to the capital city for Florida Space Day on March 8.

Durrance is professor of physics and space science at Florida Institute of Technology.

Meanwhile, Ferguson, a retired U.S. Navy captain, has served as director of Starliner Crew and Mission Systems for Boeing’s commercial crew program.

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The National Assn. of Realtors said home sales rose 3.3% in January from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million. (Feb. 22, 2017)

The National Assn. of Realtors said home sales rose 3.3% in January from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million. (Feb. 22, 2017)

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Every year, the space agency Space Florida organizes a visit to Tallahassee to meet with state senators and representatives, along with Gov. Rick Scott.

They promote the industry and “determine the best strategies for leveraging economic development policies to attract private sector investment and jobs.”

That effort might have gotten easier in 2016, when multiple companies either started building or announced major projects on Florida’s Space Coast.

The satellite builder OneWeb will build a new manufacturing plant near Space Florida’s Exploration Park business center.

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, meanwhile, has started to build a 750,000-square-foot facility nearby, as well.

The company hopes to move in by the end of the year.

These facilities, along with longstanding ones, have led to a slow growth of contractors to land in the area, as well.

Got a news tip? msantana@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5256; Twitter, @marcosantana

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