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SpaceX Could Create Thousands of Florida Jobs [+Video]


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SpaceX Could Create Thousands of Florida Jobs [+Video]

SpaceX is scheduled to launch their Dragon Capsule on May 7th from Titusville, Florida. 

This histroic launch will not only be "one giant step" for private development in space, but a chance for Florida to capitalize on a new industry and attract jobs.

For background, SpaceX will plans to launch its Dragon spacecraft into low-Earth orbit atop a Falcon 9 rocket, targeted for May 7. During the mission, Dragon’s sensors and flight systems will undergo a series of tests to determine if the vehicle is ready dock with the space station. If NASA decides it is prepared, the vehicle will attach to the station and astronauts will open Dragon’s hatch and unload the cargo on board.

This represents the first attempt by a commercial company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station, something previously performed only governments. But, this historic launch will not only be "one giant step" for  private development  in space, but a chance for Florida to capitalize on a new industry and attract jobs.

"We have been solely, and only, a launch site,"said  Lynda Weatherman , the president and CEO of the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast. "We want to bring more research and development here and more assembly work." 

As the private sector expands into space industries, Florida can use its launch site to attract companies to the state.

This is great development for Florida, since it lost somewhere between 7,000 and 9,000 jobs due to the cancellation of the NASA space shuttle program. As SpaceX, and other companies like it, grow to replace and eventually surpass their government predecessors, they will have the potential to create many new jobs for Florida. 

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Hopefully, SpaceX develops its facilities in South Texas.

As for the comments about space travel becoming privatized, this is not exactly the case. NASA stands to gain from the presence of these companies--and the reason why NASA has been encouraging their development--is because it frees NASA of the more mundane tasks like low-orbit missions and going to the space station so NASA can focus on its true purpose and original role of exploration.

No company is taking away NASA's exploratory functions, just its grunt work.

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8 hours ago

If space flight were privatized, then the federal government could focus on issues much closer to home.

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Ian,

Thanks for keeping us abreast of Space-X. If this is successful, they will be an example for others.

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8 hours ago

Okay now that I am in a more comfortable setting. I can properly reply. I was listening to a NPR podcast on the subject recently and the whole thing fascinates me. I really do think the private sector will do for space what it did for the internet, which is to say: spark a global revolution.

I find this interesting, and the mentioned this on the broadcast, is the the role of NASA and the private sector have begun to reverse. Initially NASA was the only entity in this country willing to take the risks associated with the Space Program, it took risks that private enterprise simply couldn't. Now, we have companies who are now building on NASA's past success and taking bolder steps than we can really expect from NASA right now.

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Thomas,

Thanks for commenting. I agree with the assessment of how the past played out. But it begs the question, if NASA never came to be, would we not have SpaceX today?

When NASA was created, its objective required it to incur the risks you allude to. Why would private competitors do the same if they can just wait for NASA to do it first and save themselves the risk and costs? From this perspective, it would seem that the creation of NASA postponed private investment and innovation.

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8 hours ago

The thing is NASA proved that space travel could be done, it also trained a good chunk of the engineers and scientists that would later launch their own businesses, move in to the private sector, or perhaps most importantly go on to share their knowledge through teaching.

Perhaps the hardest part of a space program isn't building the hardware and facilities per say, but cultivating a workforce that not only had the skills needed, but hard won experience that simply can't be bought. That's where the real cost lies in such endeavors.

With out NASA, my guess is there would no SpaceX, or at least companies like SpaceX would have to invest a greater amount of resources to simply get to the basics, a hard sell to investors I'm sure.

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I agree with you entire fist paragraph.

But the question is, would the same workforce have been cultivated if NASA didn't do it. You say no, I say yes, but I will be the first to admit that it is impossible to know for sure.

The one thing we do know for sure is that the private sector wasn't going to spend the initial capital or incur the initial risks when NASA was willing to do it for them. And indeed, they didn't.

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6 hours ago

The thing is back then I don't think people understood the real value of space travel and exploration of it. It was something that even the worlds leading minds could at best speculate about. What would one really do or need in space that couldn't be done just as easily here? No one really knew.

In fact the first group in a position of power to really appreciate the value of space was the Military. The military has for generations sought to secure the most strategically valuable position on the battle field: the high ground and lets face it you can't get much higher than space.

It was through these efforts did we really learn, largely as a byproduct, the kind of value space really had.

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Absolutely, investors would have never gone for such proposals. We see what their reaction would have been from our would-be Investor-in-Chief, Willard Romney.

When Gingrich was trying to make headlines with his lunar colony idea, Romney said he would have refused to invest in such a project right away. He laughed at Gingrich for suggesting it during the Florida debate and dismissed it as a costly fiasco waiting to happen. There would certainly be no SpaceX without the prior existence of NASA.

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5 hours ago

The military was among the first to appreciate the value of funding for space programs, much like now the Pentagon is among the first to realize the threat of climate change and treats climate issues very seriously--as the potentially immense national security issues they are.

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8 hours ago

A big advantage of opening space exploration to the private sector is that more people could experience space travel the future. Right now, only multi-billionaires can afford it, but as the technology develops and it becomes cheaper, more people will be able to afford it. You can buy a ticket for a trip to space from Virgin Galactic for $200,000. The company has already taken $60 million in sales and deposits, indicating that there is a lot of demand for space travel. Like other things in the free market, space travel will get cheaper over time.

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11 hours ago

Dude gotta say I like what you have been putting up about space x and the lot. I'll comment more when I can but I feel immediate props are in order

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11 hours ago

Thanks for the compliment Thomas. I intend to continue with SpaceX for a while, but am going to do some articles on Planetary Resources as well.

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