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6/20/2018 - Substantial Momentum for Sapceport Camden as Draft EIS Comment Period Closes
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) formally closed the comment period on the Spaceport Camden Draft Environmental Impact Statement on June 14, 2018. In the waning weeks of this comment period, a substantial number of supportive comments from influential voices throughout Georgia and the United States were submitted to the FAA. In particular, the entire Georgia Congressional delegation - including all 14 members of the House and both Georgia Senators - wrote in favor of the project. Read More...
5/8/2018 - ABL Space Systems Visits Camden County
Camden County Joint Development Authority Executive Director, James Coughlin along with County Administrator and Spaceport Camden Project Lead, Steve Howard welcomed ABL CEO, Harry O’Hanley and CFO Dan Piemont to Camden County on Monday to review facilities and industrial sites for ABL’s future operations in Camden County. Read More...
4/23/2018 - U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue of Georgia Endorse Spaceport Camden
In a joint letter to Acting FAA Administrator, Dan Elwell, United States Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue offered their support for Spaceport Camden. In their letter the Senators stated, “[Spaceport Camden] is important to the economic future of coastal Georgia and represents an excellent opportunity to augment America’s space launch capability,” and go on to note that “Spaceport Camden will advance a key tenet of the National Space Strategy by providing additional launch capacity for the commercial launch industry.” Read more...
4/9/2018 - Jacobs Engineering Authors 'The Right Place at The Right Time' Report on Spaceport Camden
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., one of the world's largest providers of technical, professional, and construction services has authored a feasibility study on Spaceport Camden titled “The Right Place at The Right Time.” Jacobs Engineering and its subsidiaries are intimately familiar with the space industry, currently serving as the prime contractor of NASA's Test and Operations Support Contract at Kennedy Space Center. Read more...
4/3/2018 - FAA Extends Spaceport Camden Draft EIS Comment Period
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that it would extend the Spaceport Camden Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) comment period until June 14, 2018. After hearing comments from the community and the desire for residents to take part in this important process, the Camden County Board of County Commissioners formally requested the FAA extend the total comment period to 90 days on last Thursday. The FAA granted this extension this morning. Read more...
3/27/2018 - Gubernatorial Candidate Hunter Hill Announces Support for Spaceport Camden
At an event on St Simons Island, Gubernatorial Candidate and former State Senator, Hunter Hill, offered his support for Spaceport Camden stating, “Georgia Tech is the number 2 ranked aerospace engineering school in the country and Naval Base Kings Bay is the home to some of the best trained rocket scientists in the country. Spaceport Camden is a perfect opportunity to keep the best and brightest rocket experts living and working in Georgia, while also encouraging economic development, scientific research and discovery, and job growth. In the worldwide push for space exploration, I believe Georgia can lead the way." Read more...
3/20/2018 - Georgia Association of REALTORS® Commission Poll on Spaceport Camden-UGA Research Project Finds Broad Support for Space Activiteis in Coastal Georgia
Trey Hood, Professor of Political Science and Director of the School of Public & International Affairs Survey Research Center at the University of Georgia presented findings on coastal Georgia’s opinions on a proposed spaceport at a meeting of the Camden Roundtable today. The poll, commissioned by the Georgia REALTORS® (GAR), measured support for the project across thirteen counties in southeast Georgia. Read more...
3/9/2018 - FAA Releases Spaceport Camden Draft Environmental Impact Statement
Spaceport Camden has achieved its most significant milestone to date with the release of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS process for Spaceport Camden began in the fall of 2015 and for the last two and a half years, the FAA has been evaluating the environmental impacts of all proposed construction and operational activities, including those from launches of orbital and suborbital vertical launch vehicles and first-stage landings at Spaceport Camden. Read more...
3/5/2018 - Spaceport Camden Signs Memorandum of Understanding with ABL Space Systems
Steve Howard, Camden County Administrator and Spaceport Camden Project lead announced today that ABL Space Systems has signed a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) with Camden County officials to explore future launch operations at Spaceport Camden. The MOU outlines how ABL Space Systems will work with Spaceport Camden to test, manufacture, assemble, and launch orbital vehicles in Camden County. The MOU is a precursor to a larger definitive agreement to be negotiated and signed no later than July 31, 2019. Read more...
2/22/2018 - Georgia Receives Expanded Role on National Space Council
Vice President Mike Pence, Chairman of the National Space Council, announced individuals selected to serve on the National Space Council’s Users Advisory Group (UAG). Nominees for the Users Advisory Group include former astronauts, policy makers, military leaders and industry participants. The purpose of the UAG is to “foster close coordination, cooperation, and technology and information exchange” across the nation’s space enterprise. Read more... To view the full list of nominees to the UAG, click here.
12/12/2017 - Spaceport Camden Project Lead Steve Howard Named Transportation Technology Game Changer
Camden County Administrator and Spaceport Camden Project Lead, Steve Howard, has been named one of Georgia’s ten Transportation Technology Game Changers by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG). TAG’s membership includes Georgia’s most innovative technology companies and has become one of Georgia’s premiere economic development engines. With 35,000 members, 2,000 member companies, and more than 200 events per year, TAG unites Georgia's technology community and fosters an innovative and connected marketplace that stimulates and enhances Georgia's tech-based economy. For more information, click here.
11/6/2017 - Camden County Plans Innovation and Research Park to Complement Spaceport
10/16/2017 - Major General Robert Dickman to Join Spaceport Camden Steering Committee
Major General Robert S. Dickman, the former commander of the 45th Space Wing and Director of the Eastern Range at Cape Canaveral, FL is joining the Spaceport Camden Steering Committee. An executive director of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and corresponding member of the International Academy of Astronautics, General Dickman also served as vice commander of what is now the 50th Space Wing at Schriever AFB, CO, responsible for operating all Air Force on-orbit satellite systems; Director of Air Force Space Systems in the Pentagon; the first Department of Defense Space Architect; the senior military officer at the National Reconnaissance Office and the Deputy for Military Space in the office of the Undersecretary of the Air Force. Read more...
10/5/2017 - Steve Howard Invited to the First Meeting of The White House National Space Council
Camden County Administrator and Spaceport Camden project lead, Steve Howard joined the largest players in the aerospace industry for the first meeting of President Donald Trump’s National Space Council at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.
“At President Trump’s direction, the kick-off meeting of the National Space Council will bring together all aspects and sectors of the national space enterprise for the first time in a quarter century,” said Vice President Pence. “This meeting will provide an opportunity for the Administration to lay out its vision for space exploration. As President Trump said, ‘We’re a nation of pioneers, and the next great American frontier is space.’” Read more...
8/22/2017 - Georgia Southern University Study Confirms Spaceport Camden an Economic Boon for Coastal Georgia
The Camden County Board of Commissioners and the Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development (BBRED) at Georgia Southern University released an economic assessment of Spaceport Camden today showing more than $22 million in annual economic activity to be generated by Spaceport Camden. The summary is available on the Spaceport Camden website at www.spaceportcamden.us. Read more...
8/3/2017 - Vector Successfully Launches First Ever Rocket from Spaceport Camden
TUCSON, Arizona -- Vector, a micro satellite space launch company comprised of new-space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, Sea Launch and VMware, today announced the successful suborbital flight of its B0.002 test vehicle, a full-scale prototype of the company's Vector-R launch vehicle. This launch represents both the first customer-funded launch operation for the new space commercial launch industry, as well as the first launch out of the historic Spaceport Camden in Georgia, which was originally used by NASA in the 1960's for ground-based static fire testing of large solid rocket motors. Read more...
Source: PR Newswire
7/22/2017 - Lt. Governor Casey Cagle Endorses Spaceport Camden
“By investing in Camden County to create the first commercial spaceport in Georgia — the only exclusively vertical, non-federal range on the East Coast — we are making a significant investment in our future,” Cagle said in a statement. “Georgia is ready to lead the nation and the world in building a workforce and an economy that is second to none.”
He said the state’s quality education system will also play an important role.
“In order to maximize our state’s opportunities, we must continue to leverage our most valuable assets, that being our education system, from encouraging STEM and coding in our K-12 schools to growing industry partnerships with technical colleges and universities,” he said.
The acronym STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math courses.
Cagle said the spaceport is much more than a job creator.
“Spaceport Camden is not just an economic development project or jobs announcement,” he said. “In addition to holding the promise of growth, new jobs, and economic partnerships across our state, Spaceport Camden represents one of the most inspiring forces of innovation that has challenged our nation to reach for greatness.”
Camden County Administrator Steve Howard said he is encouraged by the support of both Cagle and Kemp, who expressed his support during a personal appearance last month.
“Georgia is fortunate to have forward thinking leadership that truly understands the remarkable opportunity we have in Spaceport Camden,” Howard said. “Lt. Gov. Cagle understands that this project is not just about Camden County or Coastal Georgia, it represents a chance to transform Georgia into a STEM powerhouse that is ideally situated for the 21st century economy.”
Source: Gordon Jackson, The Brunswick News
6/30/2017 - President Trump Issues Executive Order on Reviving the National Space Council
On Friday, June 30, 2017, President Donald J. Trump issued an Executive Order to revive the National Space Council.
President George H.W. Bush established the National Space Council in 1989. The Council was tasked with advising and assisting the President regarding national space policy and strategy. The Council ceased operation in 1993. This Executive Order revives the Council and will reinvigorate America’s role as a leader in space, strengthen America’s economy, and advance the security of the American people.
Vice President Mike Pence introduced the President before the signing of the Executive Order. As the Chairman of the National Space Council, the Vice President will play an indispensable role in crafting America’s space policy.
The Vice President said that he was honored and enthusiastic to act as Chairman of the Council. He stated that the Administration’s commitment to space exploration will “strengthen the American spirit” and inspire the American people to “blaze new trails into the unknown”.
Source: The White House
6/29/2017 - Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp Supports Spaceport Camden
Georgia Secretary of State and governor’s candidate Brian Kemp has announced his support for a proposed spaceport in Camden County.
Kemp addressed the issue during a campaign meet-and-greet event Saturday at the St. Marys Eagles club. In an interview after his speech, Kemp explained more about his support for the proposed project.
“As governor, I will partner with local leaders to ensure that every part of our state has the opportunity to thrive,” he said. “Spaceport Camden will create jobs, strengthen the local community, and further highlight our state’s commitment to innovation and progress.”
Kemp said he was impressed by Camden County’s efforts to attract a billion-dollar industry to the state.
“Many rural counties in our state are struggling with declining incomes while metro communities thrive,” he said. “We must find new opportunities in rural Georgia that create a better, brighter future for our families.”
The state will have to work with the county to ensure the success of a spaceport by building a “lasting infrastructure that will withstand the test of time,” he said.
Kemp said he will support construction of a technical college in Kingsland to support the needs of a spaceport, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay and two Coast Guard units in Camden County. As governor, Kemp said he would “champion rural Georgia” and support counties that pursue innovative development initiatives.
“I am impressed by their efforts and look forward to being on-site for the first launch,” he said. “I applaud Camden County for identifying an emerging industry and working so hard to take advantage of it. Camden and the entire southeast Georgia will benefit from this initiative and the jobs it creates.”
Camden County Administrator Steve Howard said he has discussed the spaceport with Kemp and believes they both share the common goal of providing new jobs in Coastal Georgia.
“Of course, we are thrilled to have Brian Kemp’s support and we hope that all candidates running for governor will take the opportunity to come to Camden county to see the wonderful opportunity we have in Spaceport Camden,” he said. “But what is particularly encouraging is that Secretary Kemp understands that rural economic development requires an out-of-the-box approach.”
Howard said it’s uncertain what type of state assistance is available if the Federal Aviation Administration approves a spaceport after an environmental assessment is completed later this year.
“To date, we haven’t asked Atlanta to help with this project, so it’s hard to foretell what sort of state government assistance we might ask for in the future,” he said. “But the most important support we need right now, Secretary Kemp has already provided. We need more elected officials to understand the challenges of rural development and to recognize the value of unique opportunities like Spaceport Camden.”
Source: Gordon Jackson, The Brunswick News
5/8/2017 - Governor Deal Signs HB 1: Launches Georgia’s Space Industry
ATLANTA, Georgia – This morning, before members of the Camden County Board of Commissioners, the Camden Partnership, the Joint Development Authority, the Coastal Regional Commission, and the Camden County Chamber of Commerce, Governor Nathan Deal signed HB 1. Known informally as the “Georgia Space Flight Act,” HB 1 limits the liability of space flight operators launching tourists into space. However, HB 1 was seen as must pass legislation to show that Georgia is a competitive player in the commercial space industry. Read more...
5/4/2017 - Vector Becomes First to Complete Successful Flight Test of Launch VehicleTUCSON, Arizona - Vector, a micro satellite space launch company comprised of new-space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, Sea Launch and VMware, today announced the successful test launch of the P-19H engineering model of the Vector-R launch vehicle. This flight test is the first of several upcoming launches which will enable Vector to evaluate critical technologies and functions of the operational family of Vector launch vehicles. Read more...
4/18/2017 - Vice Admiral Al Konetzni to Join Spaceport Camden Steering Committee
The former deputy commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, the U.S. Atlantic Fleet and commander of the U.S. Pacific Submarine Fleet is joining the Spaceport Camden Steering Committee. Vice Admiral, Al Konetzni, United States Navy (ret.) will advise Camden County officials on ways to integrate transitioning military from Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay to the operations at Spaceport Camden.
“People often forget that we have some of the best trained engineers in the world already stationed here at Kings Bay,” said County Administrator and Spaceport Camden Project Lead, Steve Howard. “We envision Spaceport Camden providing employment opportunities for transitioning military. Launch providers need a highly skilled workforce and retiring sailors from Kings Bay can fill that need while allowing them to continue to live and work in Camden County. Admiral Konetzni will be an invaluable resource in those efforts.”
Known in the Navy as Big Al, the Sailor’s Pal, Admiral Konetzni developed an innovative retention program that reduced young sailor attrition in the Pacific Fleet Submarine Force from 25% to 7%. Admiral Konetzni’s model was immediately adopted by the Navy, which today enjoys higher retention and lower attrition than any other time in its history.
Even after his transition from the military to the commercial sector, Admiral Konetzni continued to shape the careers of former sailors, hiring Navy Veterans in his successful business ventures. Admiral Konetzni stated, “After retiring from Naval Service in 2004 my personal success in the commercial nuclear cleanup industry and high tech submarine repair business was a direct result of hiring Navy Veterans. These men and women are technically competent, problem solvers, great leaders, and team players. Camden County will continue to flourish and grow under their tutelage."
Admiral Konetzni is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy with a degree in engineering and holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial Personnel Management from George Washington University. Admiral Konetzni was a highly-decorated sailor during his 38 years of service in the United States Navy and is the recipient of two Distinguished Service Medals, six awards of the Legion of Merit, and three awards of the Meritorious Service Medal. He has also been awarded the U.S. Coast Guard Distinguished Service medal for his commitment to Homeland Security.
Howard added, “You’d be hard pressed to find a more distinguished military career in all of Georgia, if not the entire United States. We are fortunate to have Admiral Konetzni as a member of our community, but even more privileged that he is willing to serve on the Spaceport Camden Steering Committee.”
Source: Gordon Jackson, The Brunswick News
4/7/2017 - NASA Taps Georgia Tech Researchers To Build Next Generation Of Space Suits
NASA announced last month it will recruit a team of Georgia Tech researchers for a new project. The team, called REVEALS, will study radiation on other planets and build radiation proof space suits. What can this technology do for us in space exploration? We ask the team leader, Thomas Orlando, a Director in the Center for Space Technology and Research at Georgia Tech. Listen here as Mr. Orlando discusses these new Space Suits.
3/28/2017 - Camden Welcomes Vector to County
The Camden County Board of Commissioners and County Administrator Steve Howard welcomed Vector to the future site of Spaceport Camden to conduct an initial set of ground operations on its full-scale Mechanical Engineering Unit (MEU) of the Vector-R rocket and the associated Transporter-ErectorLauncher (TEL). The visit was an opportunity to showcase the Vector-R launch system and concept of operations (CONOPS) to key members of the spaceport community, stimulate discussions regarding future launch operations, and familiarize Vector personnel with Spaceport Camden.
Camden County is excited to work with Vector. Started by industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, and Sea Launch, Vector is a disruptive company that connects space startups and innovators with affordable and reliable launch services. Vector’s family of small sat launch vehicles - Vector R (Rapid) and the Vector H (Heavy) – enable platforms and vehicles to access space at a price never before possible.
“Vector is an ideal partner for Spaceport Camden,” said County Administrator and Spaceport Camden Project Lead, Steve Howard. “The small satellite market is already a $2.2 billion sector of the space economy and expected to grow to $5.3 billion over the next 5 years. Vector is a leader in this emerging market and we hope Camden County will be the home of not only Vector, but dozens of small satellite manufacturers, technology support providers, and subcomponent suppliers.”
Concurrent with his company’s visit to Camden County, Jim Cantrell, CEO of Vector, sent a letter to Governor Nathan Deal commending the Georgia General Assembly for final passage of HB 1 and “[Georgia’s] proactive approach to space friendly regulations.” Demonstrating the importance of HB 1 to the space industry, Cantrell also told Deal that Vector would like to work with his staff to be present at the ceremony when HB 1 is formally signed into law.
2/28/2017 - Statement of Spaceport Camden Lead Steve Howard on the Passage of SB46 and HB1
Spaceport Camden Project Leader, Steve Howard, offered the following statement on the passage of SB46 and HB1 in the Georgia General Assembly:
“For more than a year, we have worked with leaders in the Georgia House and Senate to develop legislation that demonstrates to the commercial space industry that Georgia is open for business. I am proud to report that the industry has been watching. Since the passage of SB 46 yesterday, I have received several calls and inquiries from industry participants that are recognizing Georgia is serious about space. Passage of HB 1 today will only continue to drive that message home.”
I look forward to the General Assembly passing a final version of The Georgia Spaceflight Act and presenting it to Governor Deal for his signature. With the Governor’s support, Georgia will not only be the best state to do business, but the best state to go to space.”
2/28/2017 - CSF Statement on SpaceX Announcement
Washington, D.C. – CSF congratulates SpaceX on this exciting announcement. The first commercial circumlunar flight of two private customers is a great example of American ingenuity, job creation, and innovation. The U.S. commercial space industry is helping to lead the way toward making space more accessible and affordable, while providing key services to NASA for its important national mission. Yesterday's announcement by SpaceX is a bold step forward, and we endorse the expanding role that the commercial space industry will play in the exploration and development of space. It's a wonderful example of how smart public-private partnerships with innovative American companies can inspire, open up new markets, create new jobs, and also support government missions and initiatives. By: Jane Kinney
2/16/2017 - Statement of Spaceport Camden Lead Steve Howard on the Passage of SB46 and HB1
Spaceport Camden Project Leader, Steve Howard, offered the following statement on the passage of SB46 and HB1 in the Georgia General Assembly:
“For more than a year, we have worked with leaders in the Georgia House and Senate to develop legislation that demonstrates to the commercial space industry that Georgia is open for business. I am proud to report that the industry has been watching. Since the passage of SB 46 yesterday, I have received several calls and inquiries from industry participants that are recognizing Georgia is serious about space. Passage of HB 1 today will only continue to drive that message home."
I look forward to the General Assembly passing a final version of The Georgia Spaceflight Act and presenting it to Governor Deal for his signature. With the Governor’s support, Georgia will not only be the best state to do business, but the best state to go to space.”
2/13/2017 - Georgia Chapter Supports New Spaceport Camden
George Nield, Federal Aviation Administration associated administrator for commercial space, spoke recently at a breakfast organized by the National Defense Industrial Association's Georgia Chapter.
Neild discussed the current state of commercial space as well as its future. His talk came as Georgia is moving forward with the development of Spaceport Camden, a vertical launch facility located on the state's coast. The spaceport sponosred the chapter's space committee breakfast.
The chapter supports the project, which would serve along existing defense and government-related space organizations in Georgia and those in close proximity, including Kennedy Space Center and Naval Air Station Cecil Field in Florida, Wallops Island, Virginia, Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama and the John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
As Spaceport Camden continues to develop, Georgia - with the assistance of NDIA's Georgia Chapter - is seeking to attract space compaines in both the commerical and defense arena.
Source: National Defense Magazine, February issue.
2/9/2017 - Spaceport Camden Project Lead Steve Howard Invited to Speak at 20th Annual FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference
Spaceport Camden Project Leader, Steve Howard, spoke at the 20th Annual FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference yesterday, February 8, 2017. He spoke on the panel “Spaceports – A Roadmap Upwards” alongside Dale Nash, Executive Director of Virginia Space, Dan Hickes, Chief Executive Officer, Spaceport America, Craig Campbell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Alaska Aerospace, Jim Kuzma, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Space Florida and Brian Gulliver, Aerospace Practice Leader at Kimley Horn. The A panel discussion focused on major issues facing the spaceport community.
“I am excited to represent Spaceport Camden at the FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference,” said Mr. Howard. “Participating in a panel discussion with leaders in the commercial space industry is a testament to the enormous opportunity we have in Camden County. The industry understands that Spaceport Camden will be the premiere commercial launch site in the United States and they want to learn more about our progress.”
The 20th Annual FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference explores the most pressing issues and opportunities within the aerospace community. The day-and-a-half conference highlights new innovation, best practices, and legislative and regulatory issues impacting the commercial space industry. In addition to panel discussions, attendees heard keynote speeches from industry leaders like Virgin Galactic and influential policy makers like FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
2/1/2017 - SpaceWorks Releases 2017 Nano/Microsatellite Market Assessment
SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc. (SEI) announced today the annual update to its nanosatellite and microsatellite market forecast. The report details the latest observations and trends in the nano/microsatellite market. Projections indicate more than 450 nano/micro satellites will need launches annually in the year 2023 and beyond. The summary is available in presentation form as a free download on the website, http://www.spaceworksforecast.com.
For more on Spaceworks Release click HERE.
1/30/2017 - Spaceport Camden Project Lead Steve Howard invited to Speak at 20th Annual FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference
Spaceport Camden Project Leader, Steve Howard, has been invited to speak at the 20th Annual FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference on February 8, 2017. Howard will speak on the panel “Spaceports – A Roadmap Upwards” alongside Dale Nash, Executive Director of Virginia Space, Dan Hickes, Chief Executive Officer, Spaceport America, Craig Campbell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Alaska Aerospace, Jim Kuzma, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Space Florida and Brian Gulliver, Aerospace Practice Leader at Kimley Horn. The A panel discussion will focus on major issues facing the spaceport community.
“I am excited to represent Spaceport Camden at the FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference,” said Mr. Howard. “Participating in a panel discussion with leaders in the commercial space industry is a testament to the enormous opportunity we have in Camden County. The industry understands that Spaceport Camden will be the premiere commercial launch site in the United States and they want to learn more about our progress.”
The 20th Annual FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference explores the most pressing issues and opportunities within the aerospace community. The day-and-a-half conference highlights new innovation, best practices, and legislative and regulatory issues impacting the commercial space industry. In addition to panel discussions, attendees will hear keynote speeches from industry leaders like Virgin Galactic and influential policy makers like FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
12/15/2016 - Georga Senate Study Committee Recommends Spaceflight Legislation
At a meeting in Atlanta this morning, the Senate Study Committee on the Camden County Spaceport finalized its recommendations to the General Assembly on the challenges and opportunities related to a spaceport in Georgia. The principle finding of the Study Committee urges the Georgia General Assembly to propose and pass legislation that sends a clear signal to the commercial space community that Georgia is open for business.
“To paraphrase Neil Armstrong, this report is one small step for Spaceport Camden, but one giant leap for Georgia,” stated Spaceport Project Lead and Camden County Administrator, Steve Howard. “There is still plenty of work to do before rockets launch from Camden County, but we look forward to working with the General Assembly to make Georgia the best place in the country for aerospace entrepreneurs to do business.”
Camden County continues to work through the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation to obtain a launch site operators license. Environmental and safety reviews are in process and a decision by the FAA is expected in 2017.
11/01/2016 - Spaceport Camden Lead Steve Howard helped to Judge Phase 2 of NASA Innovation Competition and Winners have been Announced
The SPACACE RACE Startup Challenge Announces 15 Winning Teams to Commercialize NASA Inventions Fifteen (15) winners and finalists of the SPACE RACE startup challenge were announced today by the Center for Advancing Innovation (CAI). The SPACE RACE is a first-of-its-kind global initiative, which was formed in partnership with NASA to encourage the use of federally funded technologies by startup companies.
"Space exploration has resulted in hundreds of everyday products that trace back to NASA innovations. Now that free market competition is driving space investments, these innovations are happening at a frenzied pace. If the past is prologue, the winning ideas presented here in the SPACE RACE startup challenge will become the inventions that change our lives." said Steve L. Howard.
Startups launched from the SPACE RACE will move on to Phase 3 of the challenge, where they will be tasked with incorporation and licensing NASA technologies. Startups will receive continued guidance from CAI and available support from NASA technical personnel. The SPACE RACE, orchestrated by CAI and sponsored by the Medical Center of the Americas Foundation, features eleven risk-mitigated inventions, conceived and developed by seven NASA field centers.
To view the full press release please click HERE.
10/26/2016 - Spaceport Camden Project Lead Steve Howard Invited to Speak at Premier Commercial Space Industry Conference SpaceCom
Spaceport Camden Project Leader, Steve Howard, has been invited to speak at SpaceCom, the National Space Commerce Conference and Exposition on November 16, 2016. Howard will speak on the panel “Spaceports: Revenue Opportunities” alongside Jim Kuzima, SVP and Chief Operating Officer of Space Florida, Patricia Hynes, Director, FAA Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation, and Arturo Machuca, General Manager of Ellington Airport & Houston Spaceport. SpaceCom will be held on November 15th-17th in Houston, Texas.
“I am excited to represent Spaceport Camden at SpaceCom,” said Mr. Howard. “Spaceports offer a variety of revenue opportunities beyond just leasing fees for launching rockets. A successful spaceport requires strong industry partnerships that help attract a diverse collection of aerospace companies and traditional manufacturers to the region. This is the vision for Spaceport Camden, and we are thrilled to discuss our approach with the other speakers and share it with the attendees of SpaceCom.”
The Space Commerce Conference and Exposition explores ways to bridge the gap between terrestrial industries and the aerospace community. The three-day conference highlights new ways to form business opportunities that are business-to-government and business-to-business in the aerospace industry.
For more information on SpaceCom, go to www.spacecomexpo.com.
10/20/2016 - Senate Spaceport Camden Study Committee Holds Meeting
The members of the Senate Study Committee on the Camden County Spaceport will hold a meeting today, October 20, 2016 at 3:00 PM in Woodbine at the Government Services Building room 252 Commissioners Chambers on the 2nd Floor. The Committee will hear presentations from Dr. Clay Montague, Chair of the Spaceport Camden Environmental Sub Committee; Andrew Nelson, Spaceport Camden Consultant; Steve Howard, Camden County Administrator and Spaceport Camden Lead; Dick Parker and Kevin Lang, Little Cumberland Island Homeowners Association; Steve Sainz, Alliance for Spaceport and Coastal Economic Development and Megan Desrosiers, One Hundred Miles.
10/13/2016 - Spaceport Camden Project Lead Steve Howard to Judge Phase 2 of NASA Innovation Competition
As previously announced, Camden County has partnered with NASA’s SPACE RACE, a competition that will launch the next generation of entrepreneurs. In Phase 2 of the competition, the thirty-three remaining teams must create a ten-page business plan as well as a pitch which will be presented via video conference. The judges, which include Steve Howard, Spaceport Camden Project Lead and Camden County Administrator, will review the “live pitches” and the winners will be announced on October 14th.
“I am excited to serve as a judge in Startup NASA’s SPACE RACE and view the students’ creativity and innovation first hand,” said Mr. Howard. “Among the many lessons of the last 30 years in Silicon Valley, is that today’s engineering students will build the tomorrow’s biggest companies. And those companies are likely to change the world. The aerospace industry is built on bold ideas from dreamers that became doers and with proper incubation, it is an industry that is ripe for astronomical growth.”
The SPACE RACE allows college students to meet with world-class advisors/mentors and present their inventions to industry leaders. Throughout the competition the teams presented an elevator pitch for their invention in Phase 1, a business plan in Phase 2 and will launch their startup in Phase 3. Only two finalists and one winner will move on to Phase 3 of the competition. The grand prize of the SPACE RACE is $2,500 and an opportunity to raise as much as $1.2 million in seed funding. For more information on the SPACE RACE, go to www.space-race.org or the NASA.gov homepage.
9/27/2016 - Georgia Senate Appoints Camden County Commissioners to Senate Camden County Spaceport Study Committee
The Georgia Senate recently appointed members to the Senate Camden County Spaceport Study Committee, including two Commissioners from Camden County. The members of the study committee include Committee Chair, Senator Bruce Thompson, Senator Valencia Seay, Senator William Ligon, Senator John Kennedy, Camden County Commissioner Jimmy Starline, Camden County Commissioner Chuck Clark, Aaron Hawkins (ViaSat), Colin Ake (Georgia Tech), and Glenn Lightsey, Ph. D. (Georgia Tech).
“We are grateful that the Senate recognizes the importance of the Spaceport Camden project for the state of Georgia,” said County Administrator, Steve Howard. “We look forward to meeting with the committee and working toward making Spaceport Camden a reality for the county, the region and the state.”
The Senate passed a resolution for the study committee in March this year to examine the benefits of Spaceport Camden. The Senate Camden County Spaceport Study Committee will conduct fact-finding groundwork and examine the legislative background and opportunities for Spaceport Camden, and later report its findings to make recommendations for the project.
9/21/2016 - New Appointment to Spaceport Camden Steering Committee
At the regular scheduled meeting, the Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the appointment of Stephen Fleming to the Spaceport Camden Steering Committee upon the recommendation of County Administrator, Steve Howard.
Stephen Fleming is a highly successful senior executive with leadership experience in startups, multinationals, private equity, and university-based economic development. He is recognized as a leader for innovation and entrepreneurship including selection as one of the first principal investigators for the NSF I-Corps program. He also led economic development and entrepreneurship initiatives at Georgia Institute of Technology. Fleming is a former general partner of a $260 million early-stage venture capital firm; responsible for 18 investments, 16 board seats, and thirteen successful exits. He previously led the introduction of residential broadband products (ADSL and cable modems) at Nortel Networks and was Vice President of Product Management and Marketing at LICOM (venture-funded startup).
Fleming is currently a founding investor and director with Agile Aero; a founding investor of Ansible SCS; a founding member of the Seraph Group; and a founding member and investor with Space Angels Network. Fleming is an active angel investor, community leader and mentor to local entrepreneurs. He is a graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology (GA Tech) with a Bachelor of Science in Physics.
“We are thrilled to welcome Stephen Fleming to the Spaceport Steering Committee,” said Steve Howard, County Administrator. “His leadership experience and expertise in entrepreneurship and economic development will greatly benefit the project as we are moving ahead in our FAA licensing process and our efforts to bring the commercial space industry to Camden County.”
The Spaceport Steering Committee was formed in September 2015 along with the appointment of Allen Burns, Executive Director of the Coastal Regional Commission, to serve as Chairman. On January 22, 2016 Dr. Robert D. Braun, Dr. Ann Proctor, and Mercedes A. Thompson, as well as Dr. Dennis K. McBride (in February) were appointed as members to the Spaceport Steering Committee.
9/15/2016 - Rep. Brian Babin Pledges Continued Support for Commercial Spaceflight Industry
The Commiercial Spaceflight Federation hosted its 5th in a series of Executive Leadership Forums on Tuedsday, an open dialogue for policymakers, industry leaders and stakeholders to discuss key issues and opportunities in the commercial spaceflight industry.
The keynote speaker, Rep. Brian Babin said that, "Our nation's history in space has always featured partnerships with industry. If we want to continue to benefit from the unique advantages that space affords, we must carefully craft a framework for the future that sustains Amerca's presence in outer spce, not becasue of government programs, but because we are free, as private citizens, to explore, discover and use outer space."
To read more please click HERE.
9/13/2016 - Presentations to House Science & Technology Commercial Space Subcommittee
Representative Jason Spencer invited Georgia State Legislators to Camden County to hear view points from Camden County tax payers who may be impacted by the Spaceport Camden project as well as hear an overview status update from Spaceport Camden Project Leader and Consultants. Presentations were given by Steve Weinkle, County Resident; Mr. Dick Parker, Little Cumberland Island Home Assocation; Gary Ingram, Cumberland Island National Seashore Superintendant; Dr. Clay Montague, Chair of the Spaceport Camden Environmental Sub Committee; Craig Root, Alliance for Spaceport and Coastal Economic Development; Audra Upchurch, Consultant, NEPA and Enviromental Planning; Andrew Nelson, Spacport Camden Consultant; and Steve Howard, County Administrator and Project Leader. Camden County appreciates all those who were able to attend the meeting and will continue to make this an open and transparent process so that all sides of the issue are heard.
8/26/2016 - Spaceport Camden Lead Steve Howard Presented at GA Environmental Conference
Spaceport Camden Project Leader and Camden County Administrator, Steve Howard, presented at the Georgia Environmental Conference on Jekyll Island, GA today. Howard served as a speaker in the Brownfields/Land Use track where he discussed the Spaceport Camden coastal redevelopment project, the FAA-led licensing and environmental impact review process and how existing spaceports serve in harmonious coexistence with designated conservation areas. The Georgia Environmental Conference, held on August 24th to 26th, is the state’s largest environmental educational opportunity.
“It was an exciting opportunity to represent Spaceport Camden as a speaker at the Georgia Environmental Conference,” said Mr. Howard. “The project will be beneficial to the entire region, and we will make every effort to ensure that space flight and nature can thrive together as they do in other places.”
The Georgia Environmental Conference is attended by government officials, attorneys, educators, and other professionals from diverse backgrounds. The curriculum of the conference also offers over 50 different courses, which allows attendees to choose between nine breakout sessions that can be applied toward a Continuing Education program. For more information on the Georgia Environmental Conference, go to http://www.georgiaenet.com.
8/19/2016 - Billionaires Are Racing to Take You to Outer Space
Tech entrepreneur turned space pioneer Elon Musk is planning the blastoff of a new rocket later this year. The Falcon Heavy, would be twice as powerful as any other in use and one of the biggest since the Apollo era's mighty Saturn V. Musk and Bezos are the most prominent of a quartet of billionaries aspiring to open the frontier of space the way the public-private partnerships of the 19th century pushed west at the dawn of the railroad age.
For the full article click HERE.
08/10/2016 - Georgia Tech Prepares for Liftoff on Tiny Satellites
Aerospace Engineering Professor David Spencer leads the Proz-1 Satellite Mission. At Georgia Tech’s Engineering, Science and Mechanics building, aerospace engineering professor David Spencer is working on a micro-satellite that will be the school’s first complete spacecraft: Prox-1. The pieces of Prox-1 are laid out on a table in the school’s flight harbor lab, which includes a clean room, partitioned off with plastic. It’s an area that’s off-limits if you’re not wearing a lab coat and hairnet. For the full article and to hear the video click HERE.
5/29/2016 - Commercial Spaceflight Federation Congratulates Bigelow Aerospace, NASA, and Partners on Successful Deployment of BEAM Module
Washington, D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation congratulates Bigelow Aerospace and NASA on the successful deployment of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), which on Saturday was expanded to its full volume, berthed to the Tranquility node of the International Space Station. The BEAM module, delivered to International Space Station in April onboard a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft, berthed using a Sierra Nevada Corporation Passive Common Berthing Mechanism (PCBM), will test and validate expandable habitat technology. In addition, BEAM has been approved for commercial operations, which will enable Bigelow Aerospace to offer commercial services to the burgeoning LEO market.
Co-sponsored by NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems Divisions, the BEAM project is the first test of a human-rated expandable module, an experimental habitat that is designed as compact cargo on a spacecraft, but holds the promise of providing lower cost and greater volume for living and working in space once fully expanded.
“BEAM is a critical pathfinder that will validate both the exploration and commercial benefits of expandable habitats,” said Commercial Spaceflight Federation President Eric Stallmer. “And this landmark project is yet another example of private sector collaborations creating great benefit and value for NASA, the American taxpayer, and the United States 21st century economy.”
The fully expanded BEAM module will be entered by space station crew members for the first time in about a week, initiating a two-year demonstration period in which astronauts will enter the BEAM to retrieve data from sensors and assess conditions, monitoring the module for pressure, temperature, radiation detection, and micro-debris impact detection.
5/26/2016 - CSF Applauds Kilmer, Bridenstine Efforts to Secure Full Funding for FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation
The House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment to the FY 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) appropriations bill from Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) to increase the funding for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA/AST) by $1 million. Building on efforts led by Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), Rep. Kilmer’s amendment improved on the good foundation established in the THUD Subcommittee’s draft bill, bringing FAA AST’s appropriations up to the full budget request. Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees’ FY 2017 THUD appropriations bills fully fund FAA AST at $19.8 million.
For the full article please click here.
5/5/2016 - FAA Releases Scoping Summary Report for Spaceport Camden
We are excited to see the public interest in the FAA launch site operator licensing process demonstrated by the public comment period. The process is working and our residents are being heard. We are grateful for the diligent work of the environmental subcommittee, which we created in order to generate public comments related to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). We are thankful for the community's support as we continue to follow the direction of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as they lead this process in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Park Service (NPS). The FAA is reviewing the comments of the public as a part of the planned process of the EIS. The various topics of interest will be addressed specifically by the forthcoming draft EIS and we look forward to continued input from the public as we move ahead with Spaceport Camden. We thank everyone for their continued support of Spaceport Camden. Click link below to view report.
EIS Scoping Summary Report
5/2/2016 - Rep. Derek Kilmer Vows Continued Support for Commercial Spaceflight Industry at CSF Event
On Friday, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation hosted its second in a series of Executive Leadership Forums, an open dialogue for policymakers, industry leaders and stakeholders to discuss key issues and opportunities in the commercial spaceflight industry.
Friday’s keynote speaker, Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) said that, “The commercial space industry is fueling growth today. It’s at the forefront of some of the most exciting new technologies that can create quality jobs and ignite a new passion in our kids for math and science.”
To read the full article please click HERE.
4/28/2016 - The Best New Geography for Spaceflight is in Georgia
Brian Williamson, CEO of Public-Private Collaboratives, LLC wrote, The geography of Georgia is important because there is almost a 400 meters per second speed bump from the Earth's rotation. Also rockets get to orbit by traveling over the Atlantic Ocean. In addition, there other very positive attributes for the Georgia location. To read the full article click HERE.
4/27/2016 - Gerald L. Pouncey, Jr. Joins Spaceport Camden Project Team
Spaceport Camden has partnered with Gerald L Pouncey Jr., Senior Partner with Morris, Manning & Martin and head of the Environmental, Infrastructure and Land Use Practice at the firm. His primary focus at the firm is the acquisition, disposition and/or the redevelopment of major properties (including state and federal superfund sites), mergers, investments and financing related to such properties and the development and implementation of green energy technologies and strategies. He lectures nationally on these topics.
“I am confident that Mr. Pouncey will be a great asset to the Spaceport Camden project team,” said Steve Howard, project lead for Spaceport Camden. “I look forward to working with him as we move this important project forward for Georgia.”
Mr. Pouncey has served as lead environmental counsel for the Atlantic Station project, a $2 billion award-winning smart growth project, which is the nation’s largest brownfield redevelopment. His work included acquisition and redevelopment of the project. Mr. Pouncey was the lead negotiator for locating the $400 million Toyo Tire facility in Georgia. He also served as the environmental counsel to Jacoby Development in Jacoby’s acquisition of the former Ford Auto Assembly Plant in Hapeville, Georgia, a 130-acre Brownfield south of Atlanta.
4/25/2016 - Spaceport Camden Partners with NASA Innovation Competition
Spaceport Camden has partnered with Startup NASA’s SPACE RACE in order to launch the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. Spaceport Camden Project Leader, Steve Howard, will serve as a judge in the SPACE RACE competition where student-based teams aim to commercialize promising NASA inventions through a startup challenge. Entries are being accepted until May 1st and judging will occur in early September.
“I am excited to represent Spaceport Camden as a judge for Startup NASA’s SPACE RACE,” said Mr. Howard. “These students are our future. The technologies they commercialize and the companies they found will propel humanity forward beyond the edge of what’s currently possible. That’s the vision of Spaceport Camden and we are thrilled to support the SPACE RACE challenge.”
The SPACE RACE allows college students to meet world-class mentors/advisors, win prize money, as well as launch a startup around a commercially viable NASA invention. Teams will also have an opportunity to earn seed funding and make a significant, sustainable impact on our region.
“We are confident that this challenge will foster a new generation of talented and highly motivated entrepreneurs and we are grateful for the support of national space industry leaders like Steve Howard,” said Rosemarie Truman, Founder and CEO of the Center for Advancing Innovation (CAI). “Spaceport Camden is a necessary and strategic East-Coast asset in the commercial space industry’s infrastructure portfolio and we expect it will play host to many of the companies spun off through the SPACE RACE.”
For more information on the SPACE RACE, go to http://www.space-race.org or the NASA.gov homepage.
More about CAI:
The Center for Advancing Innovation (CAI) is a global public-private partnership non-profit focused on creating a virtuous circle of innovation and driving growth breakthroughs through novel, creative paradigms and models. CAI’s mission is to accelerate and increase the volume of technology transfer, translational research, commercialization and entrepreneurship in various fields of research, including biomedical research, to make more research available to the world for educational and innovation purposes, improve the economy and positively impact world health. For more information about CAI, please visit http://www.thecenterforadvancinginnovation.org.
3/29/2016 - Georgia Senate Establishes Study Committee For Spaceport Camden (Group of Nine to Review the Project Throughout 2016)
The Georgia Senate passed a resolution (SR1159) to establish a study committee to examine further the benefits of Spaceport Camden to the state. The committee will be comprised of four members of the Senate, appointed by the President of the Senate. Five nonlegislative members, including two Camden County officials, two business leaders familiar with the commercial space industry and a professor from the Georgia Institute of Technology Guggenheim School.
“This is a big step forward for Spaceport Camden and we are grateful for the interest of the General Assembly in the project moving ahead,” said Steve Howard, Camden County Administrator and Spaceport Camden Project Leader. “We look forward to many fruitful meetings of the study committee, and we thank the Senate for providing resources to make this a reality.”
The Georgia House of Representatives also established a subcommittee on Commercial Space within the Science and Technology Committee, to be chaired by Rep. Jason Spencer of Woodbine. The seven-member subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Spencer, will meet during the summer and fall to finalize the legal details needed to put in place the enabling legislation to spark the growth of the commercial space industry in Georgia.
“Georgia has a unique opportunity to position itself as an aerospace industry leader due to its education, key infrastructure, and strategic location,” said Rep. Spencer. The subcommittee will make recommendations and issue a report of its findings to the full House Science and Technology Committee and the House of Representatives.
3/29/2016 - SpaceWorks Releases 2016 Nano/Microsatellite Market Assessment
SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc. (SEI) announced today the annual update to its nanosatellite and microsatellite market assessment. The assessment details the latest observations and trends of the nano/microsatellite market.
Projections indicate more than 400 nano/microsatellites will need launches annually in the year 2022 and beyond. The study summary is available in presentation form as a free download on the website, www.spaceworksforecast.com.
SpaceWorks is currently tracking 780 future (2016 - 2018) nano/microsatellites with masses between 1 kilogram and 50 kilograms in various stages of planning or development. Historical launches and publicly announced plans for future launches, as well as estimated market growth, serve as a basis for projection of the quantity of nano/microsatellites that will launch between 2016 and 2022. Data concerning future launches is sourced from the public announcements of small satellite operators, launch vehicle providers, government agencies, and other organizations, but also from additional market research and commercial companies' intentions.
Projections indicate considerable growth in the nano/microsatellite market, with an estimated range of 435 to 575 nano/microsatellites (1-50 kg) that will need launches globally in 2022 (compared to 131 in 2015). The 2016 Nano/Microsatellite Market Assessment by SpaceWorks shows that nano/microsatellite launches have grown by an average of 39% per year since 2010, with an expected 13% growth per year over the next 6 years (2016-2022). Analysis of development trends by sector show that the commercial sector continues to grow significantly and will soon account for the majority of spacecraft launched in the nano/microsatellite market. Analysis of trends by purpose suggests that applications for nano/microsatellites are shifting to operational capabilities, particularly for Earth observation and remote sensing missions.
"The small satellite marketplace continues to be a very interesting and dynamic arena. The sector has grown in recent years, led by large constellation plans from the commercial industry," stated Mr. Bill Doncaster, SpaceWorks Senior Systems Engineer and lead author of the forecast. "Limited launch opportunities in 2015 created a growing backlog of small satellites looking to launch in 2016 and beyond. We hope our latest Nano/Microsatellite Market Assessment provides insight into the future and proves to be a valuable resource for the small satellite community and those that serve it."
Since 2008, SpaceWorks has actively monitored global nano/microsatellite activities to provide its clients with valuable insight into this growing market. SpaceWorks internally maintains a broad Launch Demand Database (LDDB) to track historical and future satellites in all size classes. Detailed analyses and custom assessments of the nano/microsatellite market and larger satellite classes are available to interested clients. Please contact Bill Doncaster with any questions.
News and information about SpaceWorks can be found at www.spaceworksenterprises.com.
3/22/2016 - Spaceport Camden Advocates Flood Senate with Support for HB 734 (Chairman has never seen so much attention around a single bill- moves it to review)
Spaceport Camden advocates came out to the Georgia Capitol in droves last week to demonstrate their support for the Georgia Spaceflight bill, HB 734. At the recent hearing, Senator Bruce Thompson, Chairman of the Georgia State Senate Science & Technology Committee said, “this is the single most attention given to a bill in my tenure in the Senate. In fact, more than 2,300 emails and letters have been sent in this past week alone.”
Supporters of the bill who attended the hearing included students and professors from the Georgia Institute of Technology, which offers the largest aerospace engineering program in the country; K-12 educators who want to see a STEM pipeline created in the state; construction, tourism and supply chain workers who want the thousands of jobs Spaceport Camden will create and Georgia residents who want to see the $300 billion commercial space industry brought to the state. Advocates for Spaceport Camden are also showing their support on Facebook and through online petitions.
The Georgia House of Representatives recently passed House Bill 734 by a vote of 164-8 and it now resides in the state Senate.
“I applaud the House and Senate for all the attention and consideration they are giving HB 734,” said Steve Howard, Camden County administrator and project leader for Spaceport Camden. “This bill signifies Georgia’s ability to compete on a global scale for a piece of the more than $300 billion commercial space marketplace. We are closer to bringing countless supply chain jobs and new high-paying jobs to the Coast and keeping Georgia’s top aerospace talent within our state’s borders.”
The bill defines procedures for spaceflight activity in Georgia and is modeled after the Texas law, Limited Liability for Space Flight Activities, and defines procedures for spaceflight activity, which is an industry standard that is used in all other “space friendly” states.
Senator Valencia Seay stated, "I'm excited about this! I just want to know more." The Senate Committee Chairman said the bill will go under review for more study before a vote is called.
3/01/2016 - Georgia Space Flight Act Passes House: Clears Path for Spaceport Camden
The Georgia House of Representatives passed House Bill 734, the Georgia Spaceflight Act (GFSA), sponsored by State Representative Jason Spencer (RWoodbine), by a vote of 164-8 yesterday afternoon. The bill defines procedures for spaceflight activity in Georgia.
“This bill signifies Georgia’s ability to compete on a global scale for a piece of the more than $300 billion commercial space marketplace,” said Steve Howard, Camden County administrator and project leader for Spaceport Camden. “We are closer to bringing countless supply chain jobs and new high-paying jobs to the Coast and keeping Georgia’s top aerospace talent within our state’s borders.”
To read the full press release click here.
2/29/2016 - Rep. Spencer's Georgia Spacefilght Act Passes House
The Georgia House of Representatives today passed House Bill 734, the Georgia Spaceflight Act (GSA), sponsored by State Representative Jason Spencer (R-Woodbine) by a vote of 164-8. The bill would define procedures for spaceflight activity in Georgia.
“I am grateful to my colleagues who voted to bring much needed high-tech jobs to our state,” said Rep. Spencer. “Camden County, as well as the state of Georgia, is on its way to making history again. Today’s passage of HB 734 sends a huge message to the commercial space industry that Georgia is now in the commercial space race.”
The GSA is modeled after the Texas law, Limited Liability for Space Flight Activities, and defines procedures for spaceflight activity. The bill limits a willing space flight participant’s ability to sue for damages related to spaceflight activities for which the participant must give informed consent. Additionally, the GSA does not protect against injuries suffered by non-consenting third parties. This language is the foundation of the bill and introduces an industry standard that is used in all other “space friendly” states.
The GSA has garnered the endorsements from multiple outside groups and individuals, including the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and former United States Speaker of the House, the Honorable Newt Gingrich. In a letter to the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Wendell Willard, Eric W. Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation wrote: “As the commercial space industry continues to grow from its current base of $330 Billion per year, Georgia has an opportunity to position itself as an attractive hub for the industry’s future business activities and operations, bringing significant economic and inspirational benefits to the citizens of Georgia. With this growth there is need for additional launch capacity on the East Coast of the United States that is not a government-centric launch site, and southeast Georgia is probably the last and best place to site such an installation.
From his letter of support, former Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote: “House Bill 734, the GSFA seeks to add protections that are necessary for this nascent industry to succeed. The potential for Georgia to become part of the $300 billion dollar annual global commercial space industry would be one of the most significant economic development projects in our beloved state’s history. By passing H.B. 734, Georgia will be writing its own destiny.”
“With the passage of the Georgia Space Flight Act, the state is on its way to re-branding Georgia's coast to become Georgia's Space Coast by making Interstate 95 Georgia's High-Tech Corridor, and through it, the state of Georgia and Camden County will be well positioned to capitalize on the global $304 billion space industry,” said Rep. Spencer. HB 734 will now go to the Senate for consideration.
For more information on HB 734, please click here.
Representative Jason Spencer represents the citizens of District 180, which includes Camden, Charlton, and Ware counties. He was elected into the House of Representatives in 2010, and currently serves as the Secretary of the Special Rules Committee. He also serves on the Game Fish & Parks, Human Relations & Aging, and Juvenile Justice committees.
2/26/2016 - Rep. Jim Bridenstine Champions Commercial Spaceflight Industry in Keynote for CSF Inaugural Executive Leadership Forum
The Commercial Spaceflight Federation today hosted its first Executive Leadership Forum, an open dialogue for policymakers, industry leaders and other key stakeholders to discuss key issues and opportunities in the commercial spaceflight industry.
Today’s keynote speaker, Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), told the group that, “The commercial space industry holds enormous potential both as a tool of economic growth and reliable provider of services to government. The Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act is a tremendous milestone that will enable this industry to innovate and expand access to space. We must not let the momentum established by this law dissipate; Congress, together with stakeholders, need to continue proactively addressing issues that could serve as further impediments to commercial space.”
To read the full press release click HERE.
2/24/2016 - Space Flight Act passes Hurdle
The Georgia Space Flight Act cleared a major hurdle Tuesday, February 23, 2016 when the state House Judiciary Committee approved an amended version of the legislation.
State Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, the bill’s sponsor, said the main changes were the elimination of noise and nuisance provisions. The changes will not negatively impact the efforts to establish a commercial spaceport in Camden County, he said.
“This sends a message that Georgia is open for business in the space flight industry,” he said. “It was a win for jobs in Camden County.”
For the full article please click HERE.
2/24/2016 - New Appointment to Spaceport Camden Steering Committee
On Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at a regular scheduled meeting the Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the appointment of Dr. Dennis K. McBride to the Spaceport Camden Steering Committee upon the recommendation of County Administrator, Steve Howard. The Spaceport Steering Committee was formed in September 2015 along with the appointment of Allen Burns, Executive Director of the Coastal Regional Commission, to serve as Chairman. Last month on January 22, 2016 Dr. Robert D. Braun, Dr. Ann Proctor, and Mercedes A. Thompson were appointed as additional members to the Spaceport Steering Committee.
Dr. McBride is Director of the Center for Technology and National Security Policy (CTNSP) at National Defense University (NDU). Dr. McBride has led numerous panels and committees for such organizations as the National Academies/National Research Council, and NATO as well as other allied governing bodies. He has served as editor-in-chief for two peer-reviewed academic journals, personal consultant to
several university vice presidents for research, as well as for private industry, including multiple top ten, high tech defense firms, non-defense companies (e.g., Radio Shack) and numerous one person startups in the U.S. and in Europe. Dr. McBride is Director of his own high tech company in Florida and scientific advisor to the Atlantic Legal Foundation in New York City. Professor McBride has been called upon frequently to provide technical education to Congressional Members and staff, and to speak to international audiences on technology forecasting. He has been an expert “talking head” for broadcast and cable news (CBS, Fox, etc.), and his works have been featured in such news media as the Chronicle of Higher Education, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Omni Magazine, Washington Post, New Scientist, Business Week, National Defense, Defense News, Navy Times, Army Times and the front page of USA Today. Professor McBride’s education includes formal enrollment at the University of Georgia, the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California, and the London School of Economics.
His degrees include the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in experimental psychology/behavioral neuroscience, M.S. in Systems, and M.S. and MPA in public administration/policy. He has published broadly in human performance and engineering [e.g., Quantifying Human Performance (Rowman & Littlefield)], psychobiological and psychometric science and engineering, public policy, economic analysis, and operations. Dr. McBride has received numerous civilian awards, including the L.P. Coombs Medal, Australian Institution of Engineers, and military decorations, including the Defense Superior Service Medal and Legion of Merit.
2/18/2016 - Georgia House Subcommittee Approves Bill that Boosts Proposed Commerical Spaceport in Camden County
A House subcommittee split along party lines Thursday in narrowly approving a bill designed to lure companies to a proposed commercial spaceport in Camden County.
However, the subcommittee Republicans in the majority approved, by a vote of 4-3, a revised draft of House Bill 734 that no longer limits the right of nearby residents to sue companies for noise nuisances.
For the complete article please click HERE.
2/09/2016 - Camden County Administrator Steve Howard receives The General James Oglethorpe Space Award from the National Defense Industrial Association - Georgia Chapter.
February 9, 2016 - Atlanta, GA - Last night the National Defense Industrial Association-Georgia Chapter held its annual awards dinner at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. NDIA-GA is a dynamic organization sponsoring quarterly breakfasts with nationally known speakers who discuss defense issues, particularly those that impact the State of Georgia. They also sponsor quarterly tours of defense organizations across the state, and their individual committees work with areas of the defense industry that are important to Georgia.
Guest speaker for the event was US Congressman Austin Scott. Congressman Scott, who represents middle Georgia, is a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
To read full press release click HERE.
2/09/2016 - CSF Statement on FY17 Budget Request
Washington D.C. – Today the Obama administration submitted its FY2017 budget request to Congress. The request includes proposed funding and guidance for all NASA programs and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST).
“I commend the Administration for a budget that provides robust funding for NASA and FAA AST,” said CSF president Eric Stallmer. “We applaud the proposals that would enable and utilize private space capabilities to help build a sustainable American expansion into the solar system from the edge of space through low-Earth orbit to the Moon and beyond. It builds on the strong foundation established by the FY16 Omnibus and Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act. We look forward to working with the Congress to fully fund a number of the proposals in this request, while also championing efforts to shore up areas that need additional input and support.”
To read the full Press Release click HERE.
2/03/2016 - Camden County: Deep Water, Deep Space
In the February 2016 edition of Georgia Trend Magazine is an article about Camden County by Randy Southerland. Camden County sits at the extreme southeast end of Georgia where the state ends and the Atlantic Ocean and Florida begin. While it may seem a long drive from anywhere, this coastal county is on the front line of America’s national defense and may soon become a gateway to outer space as well.
Most visitors (tourism is big business here) come for the quaint and historic Main Street town of St. Marys and the wild natural beauty of Cumberland Island National Seashore, one of Georgia’s barrier islands. Few give any thought to the real economic engine here – Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. This is the east coast home of the nation’s Trident nuclear-powered submarines. These massive boats – known as Ohio class – are armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and form the nation’s nuclear deterrent.
Folks in Camden County have long looked to Atlantic waters and the U.S. Navy for economic development, but recently they’ve turned their gaze skyward as well. The buzz these days is that rockets could be blasting off from the county carrying payloads into space from a new spaceport.
For the full article please click HERE.
2/01/2016 - Camden County Could Become Commercial GA, "Space Coast" Site
90.1FM WABE, Atlanta's NPR Station did an interview with Camden County Administrator Steve Howard. To listen how Camden County has the opportunity to make history again, the growing industry, Georgia's space strategy and studying the impact click here.
1/22/2016 - Board of Camden County Commissioners Approve Appointments to the Spaceport Camden Steering CommitteeAt the regular scheduled meeting held January 19, 2016, upon the recommendation of County Administrator Steve Howard, the Board of County Commissioners unanimously appointed three (3) additional members to the Spaceport Camden Steering Committee. Mr. Howard recommended the appointments of Dr. Robert D. Braun; Dr. Ann Proctor; and Mercedes A. Thompson.
At a special called meeting previously held on September 17, 2015, the Board approved the initial steps for the formation of the Spaceport Steering Committee. During that time, Allen Burns, Executive Director of the Coastal Regional Commission, was appointed to serve as Chairman of the Steering Committee as well as assist staff with the structuring and parameters of forming the committee.
County Administrator Howard said, “I appreciate their readiness to serve and I am confident the committee will do an exceptional job with the task set before them.”
1/21/2016 - Spaceport Camden Project to Testify Before House Science and Technology Committee
ATLANTA – State Representative Jason Spencer (R-Woodbine) today announced that industry experts with the Spaceport Camden Project will present before the House Science and Technology Committee, Chaired by Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth), when the committee meets on Tuesday, January 26, from 3:00 p.m.to 5:00 p.m. in room 506 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building. These individuals will present information on how the project is progressing and will answer questions from committee members.
“This is an exciting time to be in the commercial space industry,” said Rep. Spencer. “There have been recent advances that have revolutionized the industry and Camden County, Georgia is looking to become part of this new chapter in the reinvigorated space race. Georgia stands at the precipice of embarking on the state’s most significant economic development project in its history,” said Rep. Spencer.
Representatives from the Spaceport Camden Project will include:
Steve Howard: Camden County Administrator, and principle representative of the Camden County Board of Commissioners, who are the sponsoring entity of Spaceport Camden County. Howard currently sits on the board of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.
Andrew Nelson: President of Nelson Aerospace Consulting Associates, and former President and Chief Operating Officer of XCOR Aerospace, noted commercial space and spaceports expert and consultant engaged by SCC to program manager to SCC development efforts.
James Muncy: Senior Policy Advisor, Commercial Spaceflight Federation, noted space policy expert with over 30 years of government space policy implementation experience. Muncy was a principle architect of the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004, and its recent update, the US Commercial Space Competitiveness Act of 2015.Rep. Spencer’s district includes the proposed Spaceport Camden site.
Legislators, state officials, the general public and the media are encouraged to attend this informational meeting.
WHO: House Science and Technology Committee Meeting
WHAT: Presentation from Spaceport Camden Project
WHEN: Tuesday, January 26, 2016, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: Coverdell Legislative Office Building, Room 506,18 Capitol Square SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30334
1/15/2016 - CSF Congratulates ISS Commercial Resupply Awardee & Partners, Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada Corp., and SpaceX
NASA announced three cargo contract awards to ensure robust and affordable transportation of critical supplies, scientific experiments and commercial payloads to and from the International Space Station (ISS) through at least 2024. NASA selected Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and SpaceX to continue and expand upon its successful public-private partnerships with American companies to obtain reliable cargo resupply services for the ISS. To view the full report please click HERE.
01/05/2016 - Spaceport Camden EIS - Notice of Scoping Period Extension
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has received a number of requests to extend the scoping period. Therefore, we are extending the scoping comment period until January 18, 2016.
In compliance with FAA policy and procedures (FAA Order 1050.1F) for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the FAA initiated a scoping period for the Spaceport Camden EIS through publication of a Federal Register Notice of Intent on November 6, 2015. The FAA held an open house public meeting on December 7, 2015, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Camden County Public Service Authority Recreation Center, located at 1050 Wildcat Drive, Kingsland, Georgia 31548. The public had the opportunity to speak with project representatives one-on-one and submit written comments or provide oral comments to a stenographer. The public scoping period was originally scheduled to close on January 4, 2016, but the FAA is extending the comment period an additional 14 consecutive days, changing the deadline for submitting public scoping comments from January 4, 2016 to January 18, 2016.
The FAA encourages all interested parties to provide comments concerning the scope of the EIS by January 18, 2016. Comments, statements, or questions concerning scoping issues or the EIS process should be mailed to: Ms. Stacey M. Zee, FAA Environmental Specialist, Spaceport Camden County EIS, c/o Leidos, 20201 Century Boulevard, Suite 105, Germantown, MD 20874. Comments may also be sent by email to FAACamdenSpaceportEIS@Leidos.com.
All comments received during the scoping period, whether provided in writing or verbally, will be given equal weight and will be taken into consideration in the preparation of the Draft EIS. More information on the proposed project and the NEPA process, the Notice of Intent, and the Scoping Meeting Information are available on the project website Click Here.
After the close of the public comment scoping period, A scoping report will be prepared and posted to the project website.
For media inquiries, please contact Hank Price at 202-267-3447.
11/16/2015 - CSF Applauds House Passage of Visionary, Comprehensive, and Bipartisan Commercial Space Legislation
Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bi-partisan, bicameral U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (CSLCA, or H.R. 2262 as amended), which represents one of the most significant modernizations of commercial space policy and regulatory legislation since the original Commercial Space Launch Act (CSLA) was enacted in 1984. To view full press release click HERE.
11/06/2015 - Spaceport Camden Launches ForwardThe Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation issued a Notice of Intent on November 6, 2015 to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), open a public scoping period, and hold a public scoping meeting in Camden County, Georgia.
Click Here to view full press release, or click the link on the homepage for more information.
10/21/2015 - Board of County Commissioners Approve Appointments to the Environmental Sub-Committee of the Spaceport Camden Steering Committee
At the October 20, 2015 regularly scheduled Board of County Commissioners meeting, the Board of Commissioners, upon the recommendation of County Administrator Steve Howard, appointed nine additional committee members to serve on the Environmental Sub-Committee of the Spaceport Camden Steering Committee. Howard recommended the appointments of Ashby Nix, Satilla Riverkeeper; Alex Kearns, St Marys Earthkeepers; Meagan Desrosiers, One Hundred Miles; Russell Regnery, Ph.D., Little Cumberland Island; Ben Carswell, Jekyll Island Authority; Phil Fortune, J.D.,St. Simons Island; Charles McMillan, P.E., Georgia Conservancy; David Ball, Cumberland Island; and Mark Risse, Ph.D., Georgia Sea Grant and UGA Marine Extension. The new appointees will join Environmental Sub-Committee Chairman Clay Montague, Ph.D., who was also recently appointed by the Commissioners on October 6, 2015.
Howard is excited to have these accomplished individuals to serve on this important committee and he looks forward to their valuable input. “I appreciate their willingness to serve and am confident the committee will do an outstanding job with the tasks set before them.”
10/07/2015- Clay Montague, Ph.D. Appointed to Serve on Spaceport Camden Steering Committe
At the October 6, 2015 regularly scheduled Board of County Commissioners meeting, Dr. Clay Montague, a Camden County resident and Georgia native, was appointed by Commissioners to Chair the Environmental Sub Committee of the Spaceport Camden Steering Committee. County Administrator Steve Howard recommended Dr. Montague for this role, which begins immediately. Dr. Montague has over 30 years’ experience as a university professor and coastal systems ecologist in the Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences, College of Engineering, University of Florida. He also brings with him a wide array of coastal area experience as an environmental scientist, researcher, author of scientific papers, and consultant.
Originally from Atlanta, Montague received a B.S. in Biology in 1973 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, a M.S. in 1977 from the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech, and a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Georgia in 1980. While at Georgia Tech, he spent a summer studying estuarine ecology at Skidaway Island State Park and he would later live on Sapelo Island for two years doing field work in salt marshes for his doctoral research. From 1980 to 2010, Dr. Montague was a professor of systems ecology, coastal ecology, and general environmental science in the Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences at the University of Florida.
Much of Montague’s coastal area experience comes from his time spent on the management of navigation inlets; beach nourishment; oil spill damage assessment; animal damage control under pesticide use; large modifications to river drainage and canals; other dredge and fill operations; coastal wetland impoundments for mosquito control and waterfowl management; winter freezes in mangroves; sea level rise; ecotoxicology; and the fate of beloved exotic animals on public lands.
In addition, Dr. Montague has completed field work in estuarine bays, tidal marshes, seagrass, coral reefs, and mangroves. He has consulted on other Environmental Impact Statements produced for the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Florida Office of Beaches and Coastal Systems. Dr. Montague has worked with environmental scientists; project managers; administrators at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; the National Park Service; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Florida’s Water Management Districts; Florida’s Inlet Management Districts; Florida’s Office of Beaches and Coastal Systems; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; National Science Foundation; several large consulting firms; and a law firm.
In 2010, Montague was named an Associate Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida and moved to Camden County. He has significant involvement with non-profit environmental organizations in Georgia and Camden County and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Satilla RiverWatch Alliance, Inc. Mr. Montague was Interim Executive Director for the Satilla Riverkeeper during 2012 and early 2013. County Administrator Howard said, “I am confident Dr. Montague brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Spaceport Camden Project. He will certainly be a tremendous asset to the newly formed Steering Committee and we look forward to this new working relationship.”
For more information about Dr. Montague or to view his resumé, see Clay Montague’s LinkedIn page click HERE.
For a detailed curriculum vitae, see the link for Montague on the Satilla Riverkeeper website click HERE.
9/23/2015 - Spaceport Camden joins Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) as an Executive Member. County Administrator, Steve Howard will serve on CSF Board of Directors
The release mentions Spaceport Camden of Camden County, Georgia. To view please click HERE.
9/17/2015 - Board of County Commissioners Authorize Formation of Spaceport Steering Committee
At tonight’s Special Called Board of County Commissioners meeting, the Board unanimously approved the formation of a Spaceport Steering Committee. The Board also approved County Administrator Steve Howard’s recommended appointment of Allen Burns, Coastal Regional Commission’s Executive Director, as the Chairman of this newly formed Committee. This approval is the first step in establishing the Committee. The County Administrator will bring back to the Board a finalized proposal regarding the suggested structuring and parameters of the Committee.
Administrator Howard said, “The Spaceport project is a once in a generation opportunity for our community and the State of Georgia. Done right, it will provide a new frontier of economic opportunity and cultural vibrancy for our residents and for our families. We can accomplish this by working together with multiple stakeholders in a meaningful and transparent way. I look forward to working in partnership with the Spaceport Camden Steering Committee. Their leadership will play a very important role by providing guidance on key issues affecting this project.”
9/9/2015 - County signs Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with FAA
The Camden County Board of Commissioners unanimously agreed to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at the Board of Commissioners meeting held tonight, September 8, 2015. As the lead agency, the FAA will select an independent contractor to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to address the potential environmental impacts of constructing and operating a commercial space launch site in Camden County, Georgia. The EIS will be used to support the FAA’s determination on whether or not they should issue a Launch Site Operator License to Camden County.
County Administrator Steve Howard said, “Spaceport Camden is a unique opportunity full of boundless possibilities for Camden County, and working with the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation is an important step in making this project a reality. We look forward to a continued relationship with the FAA and the FAA’s selected independent contractor for the EIS on the Spaceport Camden project.”
The EIS and any related documents shall comply with the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and appropriate Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), United States Department of Transportation (DOT), and FAA environmental regulations and guidance (FAA Order 1050.IF), as well as all applicable local, state, and federal laws as appropriate.
7/17/2015 - County Administrator Returns to Atlanta for GA Space Working Group
On July 21, 2015 Camden County Administrator Steve Howard will be in Atlanta giving an update on the Spaceport Camden project and anticipated next milestones for the project. The Georgia Space Working Group was established in 2011, and brings together aerospace leaders from across the state dedicated to growing existing Georgia space companies and attracting more space industry employers to the state. With its strong aerospace industry, Georgia is a natural place for space-related companies to seek educational, manufacturing and research partnerships as well as to hire skilled workers across space sectors which include defense, intelligence, civil and commercial activities and users.
"I look forward to attending and addressing the space working group on the exciting accomplishments since my last attendance update as we continue to work towards the goal of making this project a reality. The success of this project is important to ensure Georgia's vision for the space sector is realized" stated County Administrator, Steve Howard.
7/14/2015 - Andrew Nelson joins Spaceport Camden Project Team
The Camden County Board of Commissioners and County Administrator Steve Howard are pleased to announce the recent addition of Andrew Nelson to the Spaceport Camden Project Team. Nelson is a recognized leader in the commercial space sector with a diverse background leading innovative entrepreneurial space companies, the development of new regulatory environments for the industry and working with governments on the formation of spaceports and operational sites for the industry.
Mr. Nelson has over 25 years of aerospace experience as an engineer, aviation regulatory specialist, and corporate strategist. Through a professional services agreement, Nelson will assist the County Administrator and Board of County Commissioners with subject matter expert(s) to oversee the day to day management and coordination of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and spaceport development activities.
County Administrator Steve Howard stated, “I'm thrilled Mr. Nelson will be joining the Spaceport Camden project team. He brings a wealth of experience and will add significant value on our collective efforts to make this project a reality. He shares the Spaceport Camden Vision of developing a successful world-class spaceport that establishes Camden County as the premier commercial spaceport in the United States.”
Upon his graduation from Ohio University, where Nelson earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, he worked at Cape Canaveral for three years. His time there was spent on the integration of GPS and inertial navigation systems on classified missile tracking platforms, designing the new range safety display system at the Cape’s Range Control Center (RCC) and upgrading and certifying for use the Launch Pad Lightning Warning System (LPLWS) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and USAF’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Nelson spent the next twelve years working at MITRE Corporation and Booz Allen & Hamilton leading globally-focused aerospace technical and strategy teams from offices in Boston, London and Paris.
In 2008, Nelson became Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Business Development at XCOR Aerospace and later was named the President of this leading commercial space company, before starting his own firm in 2015. While at XCOR he was responsible for all business aspects of the company including the creation and implementation of the “space vehicle wet lease” the first of its kind in the space industry, business development, operations and regulatory development. He also led fundraising, M&A, and corporate and spaceport site selection/development processes.
Nelson is excited about the opportunity to work with Camden County noting, “The Camden County site is unique along the Eastern seaboard due to its size, general suitability for space launch, and historical use as an aerospace rocket test center and industrial processing facility. I am very pleased to be able to help the team of forward thinking leaders in the county and Georgia move the project ahead with the other local, state and federal stakeholders from government, private industry, the community and educational institutions."
Nelson graduated with his MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, with a dual focus on Finance and Entrepreneurship. We are certain he will be a tremendous asset to the Spaceport Camden Project. Please join us in welcoming him aboard.
6/3/2015- Camden County Board of Commissioners Approves Option Agreement for Real Estate
On June 3, 2015, The Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved an option agreement to purchase 4,011 acres, more or less. The subject property was the former location where the world's most powerful rocket motor was test fired in the 1960's. The county will be commencing soon the next milestone of the project where by the Federal Aviation Administration prepares an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to address the potential environmental impacts of constructing and operating a commercial launch site in Camden County, Georgia. "This exciting announcement advances the project forward and aligns with the county's vision of developing a world-class spaceport," stated Steve Howard, County Administrator.
3/5/2015 - County Administrator asked to address Georgia Space Working Group in Atlanta
On March 05, 2015 Camden County Administrator Steve Howard will be in Atlanta discussing the progress made concerning Spaceport Camden. Howard will also be there to participate in discussions concerning how to implement the recommendations from the Space Leadership Summit. The Georgia Space Leadership Summit, facilitated by the Sam Nunn School of International Studies at Georgia Tech in July, brought together aerospace leaders from across the state to develop a long range plan in relation to expanding Georgia’s market share of aerospace.
Howard served on the panel for Government and Legal Perspectives on Georgia Space. One of the key questions raised was ‘How can Georgia be developed as a significant provider of vertical and horizontal launch services?’ Howard says he is “thrilled to be asked to participate again and provide meaningful input. Camden County has an asset that can provide an economic advantage for Georgia and space operators. Several recommendations were based on the premise of the development of the Camden Spaceport and I look forward to attending this event and continuing discussions about this exciting opportunity.” Spaceport Camden would not only impact Camden and the Coastal region but it would also be a game-changer for the entire state of Georgia.
3/03/2015 - Georgia’s Aerospace Industry Provides Big Economic Impact
The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute has just completed a study that estimates the aerospace industry in Georgia in 2013 had a total economic impact of $50.8 Billion on the Georgia economy. The study, commissioned by the Georgia Center of Innovation for Aerospace, identified 88,000 direct aerospace jobs with total payroll growing to $9.1 billion in 2013 from $8.4 billion in 2011. Direct aerospace output grew to $32.4 billion in 2013, and supported more than 130,000 indirect and induced jobs with earnings of $6.4 billion and economic output of $18.4 billion. Direct aerospace activity accounted for 1.7% of the state’s employment, but when combined with the indirect and induced activity contributes 5.3% of the state’s GDP.
The aerospace workforce is highly skilled and technically savvy - causing their average annual wage to reflect that value with the 2013 average aerospace annual wage of over $71,000 – more than 50% higher than the average for the state. The effect of this highly skilled workforce is reflected in the total aerospace supported workforce accounts for 7.8% of the state’s income of individuals.
“This report highlights the strength of our aerospace industry and its importance to the economy of the state” said Steve Justice, Director of the Center of Innovation for Aerospace.
The detailed economic impact study report will be released in March 2015.
7/23/14 - Howard to speak at Space Conference
(Woodbine, GA, July 23, 2014) - County Administrator Steve Howard has been invited to present a talk at the Georgia Space Leadership Summit on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at the GTRI Conference Center in Atlanta. The summit is presented by the Georgia Center of Innovation for Aerospace Georgia Tech Center for Space Technology and Research (C-STAR).
The Georgia Space Leadership Summit will bring together aerospace leaders from across the state to develop a long range plan that builds on Georgia’s strengths in military and civil aerospace, and excellent aerospace education infrastructure, to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the global space industry to expand the space industry within the state of Georgia.
Click Here to view Full Press Release
2/6/2014 - Camden Delegation Travels to Atlanta for Annual Fly-in
A delegation of chamber members and leaders traveled to Atlanta for the Chamber's Annual Fly-in. While there, community leaders spoke to legislators and state leadership on to discuss our opportunities and concerns, including Spaceport, Exit 1 (condition of visitors' center, message it sends to travelers, safety issues due to ramp design, and relationship to the Gateway Project), Cumberland Island visitor use plan, Kings Bay missions and retiring workforce, and need for a technical college. These meetings along with others throughout the year are paving the way toward solutions to grow our local economy.
Those attending included Steve Howard and Adam Kabasakalian (Camden County), Charlie Smith, Jr., Jeff Barker and Kelsey Pauxtis-Thomas (Joint Development Authority), Bert Guy, Bill Gross, Marie Lacek, Charlie A. Smith and Leslie Hamrick (Chamber), John Morrissey (City of St. Marys), Louise Mitchell (City of Woodbine), Tonya Rosado (City of Kingsland), Sheila McNeill and Joel Hanner (The Camden Partnership), Dr. Will Hardin and Rachel Baldwin (Camden County Schools), Alyce Thornhill and Christi Gallegher (GA Dept of Economic Development).
In The News
2/16/2015 - Aerospace products again rank #1 for Georgia exports
Aircraft, aircraft parts, and aircraft engines remained the #1 export of the State of Georgia in 2014 at $8.26 billion, up from $7.8 billion in 2013 (5.9% increase). Aerospace products comprised 21% of all exports from Georgia in 2014.
On February 9th, Gov. Nathan Deal announced that for the fifth consecutive year that Georgia experienced a record increase in exports and imports over last fiscal year's numbers. “With our strong and diverse international presence, Georgia is able to successfully support companies in reaching new markets,” said Deal. “Another record-breaking year in international trade indicates that businesses in our state are growing year-over-year. When combined with the ever-increasing value of Georgia’s exports and imports, I am confident that we will continue the trend of more record-breaking international trade in the future.”
Aircraft/Spacecraft (HS Code 88) accounted for $7.05 billion in exports for 2014 while Turbojets, Turbopropellers and Other Gas Turbines, and Parts Thereof (HS Code 8411) accounted for $1.21 billion in exports, ranking Georgia #4 among U.S. States in both categories. The increase was fueled by increasing aircraft deliveries by Savannah based Gulfstream Aerospace who delivered 150 business jets in 2014.
Their large cabin jets produced in Savanah accounted for 117 of the 150 deliveries, driving Gulfstream’s revenue growth up 6.5% to $8.6 billion. Gulfstream also announced in 2014 two new aircraft models, the G500 and G600, which will begin customer deliveries in 2018.
Turbine engine and parts remained a strong export for the state with significant operations by Pratt & Whitney in Columbus, Firth Rixson – Alcoa in Midway, PCC Airfoils in Douglas, and TECT in Thomasville.
The Georgia Center of Innovation for Aerospace provides the technical industry expertise, collaborative research and partnerships to help the industry connect, compete and grow. The Center advances recognition of Georgia’s strength in the global aerospace industry and contributes to the entrepreneurial and educational ecosystems required for its continued growth.
For more information visit aerospace.georgiainnovation.org
- Local leaders rally for fly-in trip ~ Tribune & Georgian, 2/6/14
- May 28th NDIA Meeting: Georgia Space Port Briefing – What the Space Industry Means for GA
- Camden officials OK enterprise zone ~ The Brunswick News, 1/8/14
- Camden County: Changes and Challenges ~ Georgia Trend, Dec. 2013
- Georgia bids to land SpaceX base in Camden County ~ Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3/27/13
- Spaceport Georgia: Commercial aerospace industry offers limitless possibilities and state is uniquely suited for it ~ Columbus Ledger Enquirer, 5/18/13
- Camden County wants a spaceport ~ Georgia Public Broadcasting, 11/29/12
- Spaceport eyed on coast of Georgia ~ Atlanta Business Chronicle, 11/23/12
- Camden County wants to open Georgia’s first spaceport ~ The Florida Times-Union, 11/16/12