September 10, 2016

Aerospace Firm Plans Move into Port Canaveral's Titusville Complex (Source: Florida Today)
An aerospace company plans to become the first tenant of Port Canaveral's Titusville Logistics Center. The North Brevard Economic Development Zone board unanimously approved a set of financial incentives for the company, which is being called "Project Signal" to protect its identity. At the minimum, the company plans to create at least eight jobs paying an average of $50,261 a year and plans to make a capital investment of $2.4 million.

The incentives will be "performance-based" — tied to how many jobs the company creates and how big an investment it makes at the site. The company also is seeking state incentives through the Florida Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program, which would require creation of at least 10 jobs. "They could be significantly bigger pretty quickly," Greg Weiner said. Project Signal is "an international aerospace firm" that has a presence in a half-dozen countries.

The company is in the space vehicle manufacturing industry and chose to expand to the U.S. to help it gain access to the U.S. aerospace market, as well as to fulfill a contract with satellite manufacturer OneWeb Satellites, which plans to open a 250-employee facility at Exploration Park, at the southern edge of Kennedy Space Center. (9/9)

Kuang-Chi Near-Space Test Flight Set for 2016 (Source: Space Daily)
Kuang-Chi Group, a Shenzhen-based technology conglomerate, has announced that Traveler II Beta will carry animals into near space during a test flight this year. Traveler II Beta is a flying device used for data collection and analysis, and traveling in the near space region, which is between 20 and 100km above sea level - more than twice the altitude flown by commercial airlines.

In June 2015, Traveler completed its first test flight in New Zealand, reaching the designated flight altitude of 21km and successfully transmitting data back to the ground. Traveler II Beta's main subsystems have been completed and are in the final stage of assembly and testing. The manned Traveler II is also in the final stage of assembly and cabin tests are expected to be completed by the end of 2016 with flight tests beginning in 2017. (9/9)

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Big $60B NASA Rocket (Source: Ars Technica)
After World War 2, as America sought to assert its superiority in space, NASA took control of the Michoud Assembly Facility and its cavernous interior to manufacture the mighty Saturn rockets that would deliver a dozen Americans to the Moon. NASA famously built its space shuttle external tanks here—more than 130 of them.

Today, NASA still builds in Michoud, assembling the core stage of its massive Space Launch System rocket. But unlike the Cold War-era race to the Moon or the space shuttle heyday, Michoud no longer has exclusive domain over US rocketry. Private competitors are building them faster and cheaper in places like Decatur, Alabama; Hawthorne, California; and Kent, Washington.

NASA still boasts that it has the biggest rocket, the SLS, and the biggest facility, Michoud. But is bigger better in 2016? When I visited Michoud in mid-August, this was one of the questions on my mind. Yet, as we drove toward the facility’s 43-acre main building, another question loomed over all others, one that has gnawed at me for the last half-decade: even if the SLS can fly, should it? Click here. (9/9)

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