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U.S. Air Force to License Launch Complex 36 to Space Florida.

State to provide multi-use vertical launch complex for commercial users at Cape Canaveral

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A landmark announcement by the U.S. Air Force and the state of Florida today will fundamentally expand the state's position and prominence in aerospace and the space industry in all three key sectors: civil, military and commercial, broadening participation in space-related activities.

Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, subject to completion of the environmental impact analysis process, will be re-built as a multi-use vertical launch complex capable of supporting several launch vehicle configurations ranging from light to medium-lift into low-Earth orbit and beyond.

"Florida has a great legacy in aerospace, a great foundation to build on, and that is one more reason we are so committed to expanding our capability to launch from Florida and from the United States," Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp said. "We have worked closely with the Air Force over the past several months and look forward to a strong, long-term relationship as we build these safe commercial launch processes together."

"The Air Force assignment of Launch Complex 36, is an important next step to extending access to space, making it available to defense and security initiatives and multiple commercial payload and launch activities for both civil and private space businesses that wish to launch from Florida," said Steve Kohler, president of Space Florida.

"The Florida legislature demonstrated tremendous foresight when it appropriated initial funding of $14.5 million for FY 2009. This funding will help Space Florida begin the launch complex infrastructure design and construction necessary to develop a true commercial multi-use launch complex. This direction by the Air Force, together with the tremendous support by the state, opens the door to attracting, supporting and sustaining national and international aerospace business here in Florida," Kohler said.

"One of Space Florida's next objectives is to establish a Commercial Launch Zone (CLZ) for commercial customers wishing to operate from the Eastern Range. The creation of a CLZ expands our ability to support commercial payload launch services, re-supply missions to the International Space Station, and aggressively diversify aerospace business development rapidly and efficiently," Kohler said.

In addition to supporting a greater number of launch customers, the CLZ may attract other segments of the aerospace industry necessary to support flight operations that will benefit the entire state of Florida.

"The assignment of Launch Complex 36 will be an important milestone and part of a broader strategy to establish a CLZ at the Cape," added Kohler. "The Commercial Launch Zone is intended to enable space industry located at the Cape and in Florida to be more competitive in the global economy."

Launch Complex 36 was opened for business by NASA in 1961 and was most recently used as a military and commercial Atlas launch site. U.S. Surveyor, Mariner and Pioneer missions to the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn and other destinations were launched from this complex, followed in later years by weather satellites, military space assets and commercial satellite missions.

The final rockets launched from Launch Complex 36 in 2004, and the Air Force shut down the complex.

About Space Florida: Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida's position as the global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. As Florida's aerospace development organization, we are committed to attracting and expanding the next generation of space industry businesses. With its highly trained workforce, proven infrastructure and unparalleled record of achievement, Florida is the ideal location for aerospace businesses to thrive - and Space Florida is the perfect partner to help them succeed.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Aug 7, 2008
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