NASA and Space Florida Begin Partnership Discussions

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June 28, 2013

Tracy Young
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

David Weaver/Allard Beutel
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1600 /

RELEASE: 13-199


Space Florida Proposes to Operate Shuttle Landing Facility

WASHINGTON -- NASA has selected Space Florida, the aerospace economic 
development agency for the state of Florida, for negotiations toward 
a partnership agreement to maintain and operate the historic Shuttle 
Landing Facility (SLF).

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and the director of NASA's Kennedy 
Space Center (KSC), Robert Cabana, announced the selection during a 
news conference Friday at Kennedy's Visitor Complex in Florida.

"This agreement will continue to expand Kennedy's viability as a 
multiuser spaceport and strengthen the economic opportunities for 
Florida and the nation," Bolden said. "It also continues to 
demonstrate NASA's commitment and progress in building a strong 
commercial space industry so that American companies are providing 
safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation to and from the 
International Space Station and other low-Earth orbit destinations."

NASA issued a request for information to industry in 2012 to identify 
new and innovative ways to use the facility for current and future 
commercial and government mission activities. Space Florida's 
proposal is aligned closely with Kennedy's vision for creating a 
multiuser spaceport.

"The SLF is a significant asset for the center that ties our 
historical past to the vision of the future," said Cabana. "I had the 
privilege of landing two space shuttle orbiters at the facility and 
look forward to beginning discussions with Space Florida on a future 
partnership that will fully utilize this unique resource."

"The SLF provides a unique capability for new and expanding suborbital 
launch providers, unmanned aerial vehicle operators and other 
aerospace-related businesses to thrive in a location that maximizes 
the resources of the space center and Eastern Range operations," said 
Space Florida President Frank DiBello. "We look forward to working 
with NASA and KSC leadership in the coming months to finalize the 
details of this transaction in a way that will provide the greatest 
benefit to incoming commercial aerospace businesses."

The SLF, specially designed for space shuttles returning to Kennedy, 
opened for flights in 1976. The concrete runway is 15,000 feet long 
and 300 feet wide. The SLF is capable of handling all types and sizes 
of aircraft and horizontal launch and landing vehicles. 

For more information on Space Florida, visit:

For more information about NASA's Kennedy Space Center, visit: 


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