Chamber Forum: With the Right Strategy, the Space Industry Could Revolve Around Florida

Florida has ‘the right stuff,’ but faces formidable competition from other states and nations.

As advancements in tech continue looking toward the stars, Florida has emerged as one of the top launchpads for a surging industry. But the next decade will be crucial in determining whether the Sunshine State remains in a leadership position.

At the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2022 Future of Florida Forum, the leader of state-backed aerospace industry booster Space Florida, Frank DiBello, led a panel examining where Florida stands in the global space race, how it got there and what it needs to do to continue rocketing toward the top of what is expected to become a $1 trillion industry within the next 10 years.

“We’ve come from, roughly 10 to 12 years ago, the retirement of another major federal program and the loss of almost 10,000 primary jobs and almost double that number of secondary jobs due to an overdependence on a large federal program that got canceled,” DiBello said.

“Our strategy was to diversify and build a supply chain and we really have come a long way from that era. Back then we were launching 68 rockets a year. Last year we launched 31. And so far this year, we’re at 37 out of 60 that have been launched by the U.S. So, we clearly are the nation’s spaceport.”

He said that over the next 10 years, aerospace companies are expected to launch between 50,000 and 100,000 satellites into orbit and put people and equipment on the moon. If Florida plays its cards right, it could be the “ground node” for the growing space economy.


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