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Record Group Number: 000795
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Creator: Florida Space Authority.
Title, Dates: Florida Space Authority record group.
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Biographical/Historical Note:     The Spaceport Florida Authority was created as a state government space agency by Florida's Governor and Legislature in 1989 (Ch. 89-300, CS/SB 1469).  The Authority's mission (as authorized in Chapter 331, Part Two, Florida Statutes) is to retain, expand and diversify Florida's space-related industries.  Chapter 331 gives the Spaceport Florida Authority governmental powers similar to other types of transportation authorities (airport, seaport, etc.) to support and regulate the state's space transportation industry.
    Spaceport Florida Authority is broadly empowered to own, operate, finance, construct, acquire, improve, and equip spaceport infrastructure.  This includes launch pads, landing areas, ranges, space flight hardware, payloads, payload assembly buildings, payload processing facilities, and laboratories.  In addition to these specific types of infrastructure, the Authority is empowered to support facilities and equipment for the construction of payloads, space flight hardware, rockets and other launch vehicles; and for other spaceport facilities and related systems. 

    The concept embraced by the state when it created the Spaceport Florida Authority was to extend the successful quasi-governmental model of airport and seaport authorities to the emerging commercial space transportation industry.  The vision for implementation of this concept at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport included a relationship with the Air Force similar to that of various civilian/commercial aviation authorities that operate on certain Air Force bases (such as Eglin Air Force Base).  Under this type of government-to-government arrangement, underutilized property and facilities would be conveyed to FSA so they could be improved and provided to multiple commercial users on a dual-use, non-interference, right-of-refusal basis with Air Force programs.

    In 1999, the Authority supported the legislative creation of two "spin-off" organizations:  the Florida Space Research Institute (FSRI) and the Florida Commercial Space Financing Corporation (FCSFC).  These agencies provide specialized statewide services in the areas of space-related academic programs, and innovative financing for space-related projects.

    Spaceport Florida's initiatives at the federal level have resulted in state government empowerment in various space policy directives (National Space Policy and National Space Transportation Strategy) and legislation (Commercial Space Transportation Act).

    In 2002, the name of Spaceport Florida Authority was changed to the Florida Space Authority (Ch. 2002-183, CS/SB 1469).  The new name demonstrates the Authority's mission as a statewide economic development agency and transportation authority.  The Florida Space Authority is focused on leading the state's space industry in new directions through partnerships, improved customer service, and expanded research programs. 

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