Saturday, January 21, 2006

Floridian "Astropreneurs?" Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
After previously snubbing the private sector it seems as if the sun shine state is seeking out "astropreneurs."

(Red Orbit) [Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings] outlined a $55 million program to keep the nation's space program anchored at Cape Canaveral and lure a new breed of entrepreneur -- Jennings referred to them as "astropreneurs" -- from California and other states.

"We know the space shuttle will be retired, we know that astronauts will return to the moon, we know we will send men and women to Mars and beyond," Jennings said. "They need to be coming from Florida, and they need to be coming back to Florida."

Florida is currently ranked third in the nation for employment in the space, aviation and aeronautics sector. Florida plans to maintain its edge in the space field by prioritizing math, science, technology and engineering within its school systems.

(Red Orbit) "Do the math," Jennings said. "The people who are going to be walking on the moon in 2018 are in our elementary schools today. We need to make sure those children are ready for that kind of challenge." [...]

The state would also plan and develop a commercial spaceport for horizontal launches, the current trend in the space tourism industry.

Florida plans to consolidate its "far-flung space-related agencies" into a new agency called Space Florida in order to coordinate the efforts of this initiative. Florida better be serious about assisting the private sector, because if they are not, they may have to take a back seat behind New Mexico.

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You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

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