CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - When the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011, it created a void in space travel. This year $40 million of your tax dollars will be spent trying to fill that void.
State lawmakers toured Space Florida facilities at Cape Canaveral on Friday and said your money is being well spent.
The height of the shuttle program's, 15,000 people were working at Kennedy Space Center with the end of the shuttle, thousands of jobs went overseas or were lost all together.
Now with the help of state incentives private companies are picking up the slack. Boeing has taken over the giant shuttle facility.
Its incentive, your tax dollars paid for the buildings renovation. In exchange and for the first time ever, Boeing will build space vehicles in Florida.
Commercial space flight is still in its infancy. Lawmakers toured existing launch sites and private rocket makers like Space X and a Lockheed facility were cameras were banned. Space Florida's job is to find deals that work, close them, and put people back to work.
Rep. Matt Hudson sits on an economic development subcommittee.
High School science teacher turned lawmaker Mark Danish, said the incentives are a chance for Florida and space to once again be synonymous.
Lighter, smaller, cheaper were the watchwords of those pitching private space deals. And because of that, the number of jobs is never expected to return to the same level at the height of the shuttle. One guess, it's a total of 10,000 jobs but in this case, even the sky isn't the limit.
Because commercial spaces are leaner and cheaper, Space Florida expects commercial operations will create no more than 10,000 jobs.
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