Press Release

Governor Crist Awards $500k Defense Infrastructure Grant for SLC-46

By SpaceRef Editor
October 4, 2010
Filed under , ,
Governor Crist Awards $500k Defense Infrastructure Grant for SLC-46

Funds will be used to Upgrade Communications Infrastructure

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL (October 4, 2010) – On September 24, 2010, the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast was awarded a $500,000 Defense Infrastructure Grant from the State of Florida – to be used for critical communications upgrades at Space Florida’s Space Launch Complex 46 (SLC-46) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS).

The announcement came on September 24, as part of $5.85 million in total defense grant awards for “projects to improve Florida’s defense economy for military installations and activities,” according to the Governor’s press release.

SLC-46 is a key launch pad for supporting future DoD, NASA and commercial missions. A functional communications infrastructure at the pad will ensure more responsible launch capability, more competitive pricing of facilities at the Cape, and increased attractiveness of Florida’s launch capabilities in the global space marketplace. Currently, existing communications infrastructure at the site is dated and does not meet industry standards for interaction with the Eastern Range.

“EDC staff and volunteers coordinated with Space Florida and 45th Space Wing officials to identify and prioritize this project,” said Lynda Weatherman, president and CEO of the EDC of Florida’s Space Coast. “We were one of 11 communities statewide to receive a Defense Infrastructure Grant. Its implementation will further strengthen our competitiveness in the aerospace industry.”

The Defense Infrastructure Program addresses the infrastructure needs of Florida’s military installations. SLC-46 is critical to Florida, as it is one of few sites located on CCAFS that support small-to-medium class payload launchers. As such, infrastructure enhancements at SLC-46 can support military launch programs for the USAF Space Development and Test Wing (SDTW) and Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) programs – which require mechanisms to replace on-orbit assets quickly in response to war fighter requirements, and as threats to space-based assets continue to increase.

“This grant will help ensure that SLC-46 is fully operational in the near term, allowing the site to accommodate four launches per year in the near-term and up to eight launches per year in two-to-three years,” noted Space Florida President Frank DiBello. “This throughput would significantly increase the annual launch rate from CCAFS and result in sizable, positive economic impact for our area.”

Existing vehicles that could be accommodated at the site include Orbital Sciences’ Minotaur and Taurus rockets, the Lockheed Martin/ATK Athena rocket, or other commercial, NASA, or military launch vehicles. It is also the only East Coast launch site for flight testing of the NAVY’s Trident II ballistic missiles.

Refurbishment of the communications infrastructure at SLC-46 is anticipated to take less than one year, and a Request for Proposal for design and construction of the infrastructure project will be posted to Space Florida’s website at in early October.

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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.

SpaceRef staff editor.