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Friday, January 10, 2020

This week's SpaceX launch in Cape Canaveral could have larger significance for Central Florida

Posted By on Fri, Jan 10, 2020 at 1:38 PM

  • Screenshot via SpaceX/Twitter
Elon Musk's aerospace manufacturer, SpaceX, successfully launched 60 non-reflective internet satellites late Monday evening from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Unlike previous reflective satellites, the latest space-bound devices are clad in a new dark coating, so as not to disrupt astronomers and stargazers from viewing the stars.

It was their first official launch for the Space Force, the new sixth branch of the U.S. military, which is bringing new opportunities to the people and economies of Central Florida. As per the spending plan of the National Defense Authorization Act signed into law by President Trump, a $148 million budget was authorized for the construction of a Combined Space Operations Facility in Colorado Springs.

However, the Space Force still lacks a location for its command headquarters and Florida state officials hope that the Sunshine State will be the top choice.

“Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Rick Scott, who enjoy a very close relationship with the president, they are working to convince the president to do the Space Force headquarters in the sunshine state,” aerospace consultant John Boyd told Florida Today soon after President Trump signed the Space Force into law in December.

Senator Marco Rubio also expressed his desire for the command headquarters to be built in Florida. In a letter to former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Rubio wrote: "Florida's Space Coast continues to lead the world in space."

If their efforts are successful, the existence of the Space Force Command Headquarters in Florida could spark a flood of economic prosperity to the state. Boyd gauges that the headquarters would create 1,200 high-paying jobs and put approximately $2 billion of investments from the Pentagon in Florida’s pocket.

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