Bigelow Aerospace, known for launching prototype space stations into orbit is partnering with Space Florida in order to fund their own version of COTS for the sun shine state.
(SpaceRef) "Our interest in this relationship is driven by Space Florida's exclusive qualifications," said Robert Bigelow President of Bigelow Aerospace. "With a distinctive aerospace manufacturing and launch infrastructure, and a vibrant workforce with deep expertise in systems development, Florida is uniquely positioned to facilitate the development of commercial space transportation systems." "Diversification of the Florida aerospace industry - a critical path for bringing in new business and job opportunities - is one of three key areas of Space Florida's focus during the last 12 months," Kohler added. "This agreement creates a relationship between Florida and one of the leading entrepreneurial space firms, Bigelow Aerospace, and, if successful, will allow the State to become the future hub for commercial orbital transportation development projects, ultimately attracting a wide variety of small and large business entrants in various locations across Florida."
Bigelow is committing up to $100 million in order to help "jump start" companies desiring to create a craft able to house humans.
Bigelow seems to be getting nervous about whether or not the private sector can deliver a crew ferrying rocket, as they have previously offered a $760 million contract towards whoever could create a spaceship by 2010.
While Florida's space force has the skills (and speed) to actually pull this off, one wonders whether or not they will be able to beat SpaceX and Space Adventures, both who will probably contend for Bigelow's space station business.
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