Video courtesy of AmericaSpace with elements provided by Space Florida
TALLAHASSEE, Fla — Whenever NASA announces that a contract is open for bidding, the competition between aerospace firms can be fierce. However, these divisions fade on Florida Space Day, as teams consisting of representatives from United Launch Alliance work side-by-side with their counterparts from SpaceX, ATK, and other companies within the space industry. They have one goal: educate new legislators (and remind returning ones) of the incredible importance of the space industry to the State of Florida.
Florida is one of the key aerospace states within the United States, with a history that stretches back to the very beginning of the space age. While some might assume that this is in large part due to Kennedy Space Center and the adjacent Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, located in Brevard County, in actuality every county within Florida benefits from the aerospace community. Almost 450 companies have a presence within Florida, employing more than 31,000 workers.
The day consisted of a flurry of activity, with the various teams moving from one meeting to the next. The teams spoke with the State’s representatives and encouraged them to continue supporting the various elements of the space program.
The above video was shot on the 22nd floor of the State’s Capitol building. The view is stunning and the guests in attendance included some of the heaviest hitters within the aerospace industry. NASA center directors, veteran astronauts, and experts within the field that make the space industry move—all of them mingled with one another and worked to keep the dream of space flight moving. For some, space exploration has a far greater impact than some might assume.
“I’ve found that leadership is extremely important, and how you’re perceived around the world is important. If you’re perceived as weak, that’s the way you’re going to be treated. However, if you’re perceived as strong that’s also the way you’re going to be treated,” said Bob Crippen, a four-time space shuttle veteran and a former director of the Kennedy Space Center. “That’s why Russia got into the space program initially; that’s why we got into it. That’s also why China is heavily into it right now. The Chinese have their own space station now, and in fact the Europeans are now lobbying with China to put their astronauts on the Chinese space station. India is also pursuing it—even Iran. It is something that we ought to be concerned about.”
Video courtesy of AmericaSpace