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The company will be a contractor for OneWeb Satellites. Video by Dave Berman/FLORIDA TODAY. Posted Nov. 29, 2016.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The Canaveral Port Authority is close to finalizing a deal for a five-year lease agreement with SpaceX for a rocket refurbishing facility.

“We’ve been working with them, moving the Falcon from the port back where they’re doing the refurbishment.
I think it’s going to be part of that process,” Canaveral Port Authority Chairman Tom Weinberg said.

Under the terms of a “tentative agreement,” SpaceX would lease the 53,000 square foot former SPACEHAB building, located on the north side of the port, for an annual rent of more than $300,000.

SpaceX would be responsible for funding and completing all improvement with a maximum reimbursement of $250,000.

SpaceX has also discussed plans to build a 44,000 square foot hangar on the existing property.

“I think that’s going to bring more jobs to more people locally. Instead of those rocket boosters being built elsewhere, we can refurbish them here,” said resident Rick Bassinder.

Weinberg said he sees it as part of the port’s ever-expanding cargo effort.

“To have a long-term contract with a partner like SpaceX, and you see how prolific, frankly, they are with their model and the business that they’re in, we think it’s a great partnership to have SpaceX at the port,” said Weinberg.

Weinberg was said he was confident that a final deal will be reached.

Article by WFTV, Orlando, Complete Article [ HERE ]

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Canada’s fastest growing ultra low-cost travel company, NewLeaf, announced that it will begin affordable nonstop flights from the Toronto area to Orlando Melbourne International Airport on January 15, 2017.

This is the second Canada-based airline to choose Orlando Melbourne International Airport for its ease of entry and proximity to one of the world’s largest cruise ports, sparkling beaches and world-class theme parks such as Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Florida and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. It is the travel company’s first entry into the United States, adding both Florida and Arizona destinations for its inaugural international season.

The flights will run through to the end of April, with a possible schedule extension to year-long service. Canada is Florida’s top tourism market and MLB is fast becoming the alternative airport of choice to experience all that Florida has to offer Canadian travelers.

“We’re delighted to welcome NewLeaf and its enthusiastic Canadian budget-minded passengers,” said Greg Donovan, AAE, executive director of Orlando Melbourne International Airport.

“Our airport’s reputation for a superior concierge experience, streamlined security and a faster customs experience is like no other Florida airport.  Couple that with our breathtaking beaches and short drive to the theme parks, and we have a winning combination.”

NewLeaf will offer low fares on its Boeing-737 aircraft which is designed to accommodate 150  passengers. The flights, operated by Flair Airlines, will depart from Hamilton International Airport in the metro Toronto area and arrive stateside and beachside Sunday mornings, providing a full week of Florida’s balmy ocean breezes, exciting family theme parks and incredible e-tourism experiences.

 Article by AviationTribune – Complete Article [ HERE ]
Throughout the month of December, Brevard Zoo is offering seasonal entertainment in the form of special events, educational programs and more.

Throughout the month of December, Brevard Zoo is offering seasonal entertainment in the form of special events, educational programs and more.

SPECIAL EVENTS, EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Throughout the month of December, Brevard Zoo is offering seasonal entertainment in the form of special events, educational programs and more.

“Holiday Happenings,” presented by Charter Spectrum,  includes Jolly Days, which features games, crafts, a DJ and the opportunity to watch the Zoo’s animals unwrap holiday “gifts,” will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on December 22 and 23. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available for photos from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on these dates.

Noon Year’s Eve, scheduled for December 31, gives guests of all ages the chance to count down to the new year with a ball drop and juice toast. Jolly Days and Noon Year’s Eve are included with Zoo admission.

The Zoo’s education department is offering programs for homeschooled students on December 6, 12 and 13 and a “night hike” for ages 10-13 on Saturday, December 10.

A New Year’s Eve overnight, ideal for parents who plan to stay out late on the big night, is open to ages 7 to 12. More information is available at www.BrevardZoo.org/education 

Winter camps are open to children in kindergarten through sixth grade from December 27 to 30 and January 3 to 6.

Now through December 16, Florida residents can take 25 percent off any Treetop Trek course beginning before noon with the coupon found at www.TreeTopTrek.com.

More information is available at BrevardZoo.org/zoo-winter-camps 

Article by SpaceCoastDaily – Complete Article [ HERE ]

 

At least three missions, each flown by different rockets, are scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station during a 10-day period next month that could close out the 2016 launch manifest.

Here’s what’s coming:

  • Dec. 7: United Launch Alliance plans to launch its fourth Delta IV rocket and 11th mission overall this year, sending the Air Force’s eighth Wideband Global Satcom communications satellite into orbit. The night launch window opens before 7 p.m. The WGS-8 spacecraft was lifted atop the rocket last Monday.
  • Dec. 12: Orbital ATK brings its air-launched Pegasus rocket to Cape Canaveral for a rare flight. A carrier aircraft will take off first thing in the morning to deploy a rocket carrying eight small satellites forming NASA’s CYGNSS science mission, which will study hurricanes.
  • Dec. 16: ULA’s final mission of the year will see an Atlas V launch the EchoStar-19 commercial communications satellite in the early afternoon.

The lineup doesn’t yet include a return to flight by SpaceX, which has said it hopes to launch a Falcon 9 rocket before the end of the year, pending completion of its investigation into a Falcon 9 rocket’s Sept. 1 launch pad explosion.

 


NASA is scheduled to launch its most capable weather satellite this weekend from Florida. The newest advanced satellite can roll over the entire Western Hemisphere and can snap high definition images of severe storms, blizzards, hurricanes and lightning strikes in just five minutes, which is way faster than the current satellite.
One expert quoted, “It will be like moving from black-and-white to high-definition TV.”
“It will revolutionize how severe weather forecasting is done,” said meteorologist Ryan Maue of WeatherBell Analytics.
The satellite known as “GOES-R” will be positioned in “geosynchronous” orbit about 22,000 miles above the equator. It will move as the earth rotates.
Lockheed Martin created and developed the GOES-R spacecraft which will be managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
In a statement, Stephen Volz, head of NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service said, “GOES-R is a key milestone for us,”
While Lockheed Martin said, “it’s the first in the USA’s next generation of weather satellites. The satellite will transmit more data in the first six months of operation than all previous GOES weather satellites combined”.
The GOES is short for geostationary operational environmental satellite while R is the series of a specific satellite. The other four satellite programs called GOES-S, GOES-T, and GOES-U will be available for operations by 2036.
goes-r_lm1According to NOAA, “plans for GOES-R started nearly 10 years ago because the current three satellites were nearing the end of their functionality. If one or two of them stopped working, we’d be in danger of losing important weather information”
Fred Johnson, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Melbourne, Fla. stated, “It’s a big deal”.
“It’s a big upgrade from what we’ve had in the past. This should save lives and property,” Johnson added.
Two out of the six satellites on board will focus on monitoring Earth’s weather. The satellite camera called the “Advanced Baseline Imager” will capture and send back ‘super’ high definition images of weather. Further, it can scan the Western Hemisphere in just five minutes.
The advanced camera, built by Harris Corp., will be able to gape into a hurricane’s eyewall. This would help forecasters measure the storm’s intensity and tell whether it’s strengthening or weakening.
“GOES-R will advance environmental monitoring significantly, marking a quantum leap from 1990s technology into the 21st century,” said Eric Webster of Harris.
“Hurricane photos could rival recent breathtaking photos of typhoons taken from Japanese weather satellites, which already have these types of cameras aboard”, Maue said.
Romy Olaisen of Harris likened it to switching from black-and-white to high-def.
Furthermore, the other four weather instruments will focus on space weather and radiation hazards from the sun. Solar flares can wreak havoc with satellites, air-traffic and power grids down here on Earth.
“The other weather instrument, known as the “Geostationary Lightning Mapper” and built by Lockheed Martin, will monitor all lightning strikes over North America and the nearby oceans. Better detection of lightning should increase lead time for tornado warnings and also reduce false alarms”, NOAA said.
Launch Time
The launch will take place on Saturday at 5:42 p.m. aboard an Atlas V rocket. As of Tuesday, NASA said the forecast was 80% favorable for a liftoff.
Hurricane Matthew caused a two-week delay of the launch. The storm affected the launch site’s infrastructure as it roared by the Florida coast in October, according to NASA.
Article Credit of Rommel Parane at Newsline, complete article [ Here: http://bit.ly/2eJJjt1 ] 

Royal Caribbean’s huge Oasis of the Seas will sail into Port Canaveral on Saturday, November 5, and will berth at Cruise Terminal 1.

Royal Caribbean’s huge Oasis of the Seas will sail into Port Canaveral on Saturday, November 5, and will berth at Cruise Terminal 1.

 

 

ABOVE VIDEO: Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas met off the coast of Florida on Friday for the first time as the newest Oasis-class ship, Harmony, makes its way to Port Everglades for the first time. Oasis of the Seas is heading up to its new home at Port Canaveral. Allure of the Seas will continue to call Port Everglades home along with Harmony of the Seas. All three will sail alternating year-round, seven-night eastern and western Caribbean cruises from the Florida ports.

 

Oasis of the Seas Arrives At Port Canaveral

BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA — Royal Caribbean’s huge Oasis of the Seas sailed into Port Canaveral on Saturday and will berthed at Cruise Terminal 1.

The Canaveral Port Authority welcomed the arrival of the flag ship of the world’s largest class of cruise vessels, which is a whopping 225,000 gross tons.

The Canaveral Port Authority built the $104.6 million 188,000 square foot Terminal 1 and 1007-vehicle parking facility specifically to accommodate Oasis-class ships. The Oasis of the Seas, which carries 5,400 passengers double occupancy, replaces the 3,634 passenger Freedom of the Seas at Port Canaveral.

“Our community has been excited about Oasis of the Seas since Royal Caribbean International made the announcement,” said Port Canaveral CEO John Murray.

“And we have been busy readying ourselves for the increase in passengers by working with our ground transportation and other partners to make this transition to our next level of cruising as smooth as possible for the cruise line and their guests.”

The Port Authority invites the community to join in a Sail-a-Bration at Jetty Park on November 13 from 3- 6 p.m.to bid Oasis of the Seas bon voyage as she sails from her new homeport in Central Florida.

Complimentary admission begins at 2 p.m. with family fun, entertainment, and giveaways. Please bring a non-perishable food item as a donation to the Sharing Center of Central Brevard.

Article by SpaceCoastDaily – Complete Article [ HERE ]

Angela Jordan’s completed Habitat for Humanity-built home in Cocoa. (Photo: Courtesy Habitat for Humanity Brevard)

Angela Jordan’s completed Habitat for Humanity-built home in Cocoa. (Photo: Courtesy Habitat for Humanity Brevard)

In its years of publication, FLORIDA TODAY’s Spaces has showcased some of Brevard’s most magnificent and unique residences, but perhaps none is more beautiful than the modest 1,100-square-foot Cocoa house NASA Visitor Center employee Angela Jordan moved into in September, for hers is a house built with love from the ground up.

When Jordan goes to bed, she sleeps peacefully, knowing that within the walls of her home and even embedded in its foundation are biblical verses of hope, as well as blessings and good wishes written by the Habitat for Humanity volunteers who helped Jordan achieve her dream of homeownership.

“You are literally standing on the word of God when you’re in my house,” said Jordan.

Becoming a homeowner was certainly heaven-sent for Jordan, Habitat of Brevard’s newest homeowner.

“My mother never owned her own house and I never owned my own place until Habitat made it possible,” said Jordan, who proudly made her first mortgage payment this month. “This is truly a breakthrough for my family.”

It took more than two years from start of application to finished home for Jordan, but it was well worth the wait, she says. She now has a home for herself and her teen niece, under her care after Jordan’s sister passed away a couple of years ago.

Habitat not only made homeownership possible for Jordan, but the organization also has helped her financially.

“I’m paying $200 less a month than what I was paying for a two-bedroom apartment on Dixon Boulevard, and just the front part of my new house is bigger than my entire old apartment,” said Jordan.

Jordan was able to snag such a good deal because Habitat for Humanity depends heavily on volunteer labor and donations to build or remodel 20-some houses annually and also holds the mortgages it offers on these homes at zero percent. Habitat makes no profit on any of the houses it builds. There is a catch, however. Houses aren’t given to anyone, but rather are designed for people in need. The average income range for a family of four to qualify for a Habitat home is $24,300 to $35,340. The family must also be currently living in substandard housing and be willing to complete a minimum of 200 sweat equity hours.

Like all applicants, Jordan had to meet specific criteria and expectations before receiving the keys to her new house. She loved the fact that she could help build her own home.

“To be able to be a part of raising the first wall of my house was amazing,” she said.

A 10-week homeowner education/financial competence program is also required from all household members 16 and older.

“We’re trying to set up these families for success,” said Diane Koenig, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Brevard County.

Families can choose a home in the south, central or north parts of the county, but they must accept Habitat’s standard floor plan that is customized to the size of the family. The homes are neither huge nor fancy, but they’re energy efficient and easy on the environment as well as the eye.

Fourteen families are currently in the pipeline to acquire a Habitat home, built in as little as 10 weeks by a workforce of volunteers under the guidance of a professional site supervisor.

Volunteers are at the heart of every Habitat home. At Jordan’s home, for example, volunteers did everything from raising the first wall to finishing off the yard. Habitat’s volunteer corps run the gamut from retirees to teens. Merritt Island High School’s Habitat Student Chapter not only raises money for the charity, but also labors alongside older volunteers.

“The entire Holy Trinity Academy football team was here to lay the sod,” said Jordan, who plans to tell her Habitat story at the Revive Cocoa party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 22, at the city’s Save-a-Lot Plaza.

The homes include appliances donated by Whirlpool, double-glazed windows with hurricane shutters, air conditioning, a pantry in the kitchen and a tub with a shower in the bathroom. Some even have patios or porches. Volunteers with green thumbs grow the plants that will be used in the simple landscape, so no two are alike. In Jordan’s case, she was furnished with a two-car garage because of requirements established but the City of Cocoa.

Many Habitat homeowners are so grateful that they continue volunteering at house builds for years, even though it is not required.

“We have Habitat homeowners who have volunteered more than 1,000 hours,” noted Koenig.

Habitat doesn’t just provide affordable housing; it also sparks neighborhoods. In Melbourne’s Booker T. Washington community, the city’s poorest, Habitat’s Greater Heights complex injected a serious dose of community pride with the construction of 10 homes in a once crime- and drug-ridden area. Habitat continues its efforts in this African-American neighborhood with Sunwood, a community of 15 single-family homes currently under construction.

“We build homes, communities and hope,” said Koenig.

Since Habitat began in Brevard in 1985, the charity has built homes for 339 families. Brevard Habitat is part of Habitat International, a worldwide nonprofit Christian housing ministry.

Corporate support in the form of special events such as the upcoming “If I Had a Hammer,” scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the Holiday Inn Melbourne-Viera Conference Center, is critical for the local chapter of the organization. Tom Vice, president of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems is a guest speaker at the event.

Jordan, who struggled with drug addiction for many years, considers her new Habitat home a precious gift in a seven-year-old recovery journey that has challenged her spirit with the deaths of several loved ones, including her 25-year-old son.

“My Habitat home has been a blessing to me,” said Jordan.

“If I Had a Hammer”

What: Habitat’s Home Builders’ Society luncheon with guest speaker Tom Vice, president of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems

When: Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 11 a.m.

Where: Holiday Inn Melbourne-Viera Conference Center, 8298 N. Wickham Road

For more information, call 321-728-4009, extension 113.

Article by Maria Sonnenberg, For FLORIDA TODAY – Complete Article [ HERE ]

The world's three largest cruise ships -- Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas -- met up for the first and perhaps only time off the coast of Florida on Nov. 4, 2016. (Photo: Michel Verdure)

The world’s three largest cruise ships — Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas — met up for the first and perhaps only time off the coast of Florida on Nov. 4, 2016. (Photo: Michel Verdure)

 

It was an afternoon for the record books.

Royal Caribbean’s new Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, was greeted off the coast of Florida late Friday by its two slightly smaller sisters, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, in an at-sea stunt that brought together the world’s three largest passenger vessels for the first and perhaps only time.

Ranging from 225,282 to 226,983 tons, the three ships are more than 30% larger than the next-largest vessels in Cruisedom and can carry more than 6,000 passengers a piece. Each has a crew of more than 2,000 people.

The meetup came as Harmony approached its long-term home at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for the first time after crossing the Atlantic from Barcelona. Unveiled in May, the 16-deck-high ship spent an inaugural season sailing out of Barcelona in advance of its U.S. debut. It’ll now start up a permanent schedule of seven-night voyages out of Port Everglades to the Caribbean.

Harmony is built on the same platform as Oasis and Allure, which debuted in 2009 and 2010, respectively. But Harmony eclipses its siblings by nearly 1,700 tons. It also offers a number of new features. Among them: Ultimate Abyss, which might just be the most thrilling attraction ever conceived for a cruise ship. Comprised of two swirling slides, it drops nine stories from near the top of the vessel down to one of its lowest decks.

As can be seen in the photos above, Harmony also is home to a multi-deck water slide area, something Royal Caribbean has just begun adding to ships this year. It’s also the first Oasis class ship with a Bionic Bar where the drinks are served by robot bartenders — a concept that first debuted in 2014 on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas.
In addition, Harmony has larger cabins than Oasis and Allure in some categories, and windowless “inside” cabins are being outfitted with Royal Caribbean’s exclusive Virtual Balconies, which offer a real-time view of the outdoors. It’s a concept that first debuted in 2014 on the line’s Navigator of the Seas.
Wider than Oasis and Allure by about 2.5 feet and a tad longer, too, Harmony holds nearly 100 more passengers than its sisters at double occupancy. Its total capacity is 6,780 people, not including crew.

Note: One of the world’s largest cruise ships will move into its new winter home at Port Canaveral this weekend.

Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas sails into the port for the first time on Saturday.

The ship has a capacity of 6,360 passengers and has a crew of 2,394. It will replace Royal Caribbean’s 3,634-passenger Freedom of the Seas at Port Canaveral.

Article by Florida Today, Complete Article [ HERE ]

Stunning HD aerial views of Sunday’s record-breaking docking of 6 cruise ships at Port Canaveral. By David Waters. 2-16-15

One of the world’s largest cruise ships will move into its new winter home at Port Canaveral this weekend.

Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas sails into the port for the first time on Saturday.

The ship has a capacity of 6,360 passengers and has a crew of 2,394. It will replace Royal Caribbean’s 3,634-passenger Freedom of the Seas at Port Canaveral.

The Royal Caribbean International Oasis of the Seas will be based at Port Canaveral starting Saturday. (Photo: Provided photo)

The Royal Caribbean International Oasis of the Seas will be based at Port Canaveral starting Saturday.
(Photo: Provided photo)

“Our community has been excited about Oasis of the Seas, since Royal Caribbean International made the announcement” in March 2015 that the ship would be coming here, Port Canaveral Chief Executive Officer John Murray said in a statement released by the port. “And we have been busy readying ourselves for the increase in passengers by working with our ground transportation and other partners to make this transition to our next level of cruising as smooth as possible for the cruise line and their guests.”

Another mega-ship, the Norwegian Cruise Line’s Epic, will join the Port Canaveral lineup a week later. That ship, built in 2010, has a double-occupancy passenger capacity of 4,100 and a crew of 1,708.

With the two new ships, “we’ll have more passengers passing through the port,” Murray said.

And more passengers using Port Canaveral will mean more people spending money at local hotels, restaurants and attractions.

“It just trickles down to a lot more people in the area visiting and spending money in the local businesses,” said Margaret Bodchon, owner and vice president of Merritt Island-based SunWard Tours, which arranges tours from Port Canaveral for a number of cruise ships.

Bonnie King, deputy director of the Space Coast Office of Tourism, said having these ships at Port Canaveral will be good for local hotels and the rest of the tourism industry.

“Welcoming these two grand ships gives the Space Coast another opportunity to showcase our area as a future vacation destination,” King said. “The snooze-and-cruise packages that are offered through the hotels are a very strong tool that encourages the cruisers to arrive a day or two before their adventure begins. With the amount of people that will be boarding these two ships, coupled with the people who are boarding other ships in the port, the economic impact to our community is huge.”

The Oasis, built in 2009, will offer seven- and eight-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral for the 2016-17 fall and winter season.

Currently, the Oasis of the Seas is the world’s third-largest ship, based on passenger capacity, behind two other Royal Caribbean “Oasis-class” ships — the Harmony of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas.

The Oasis will be based at Port Canaveral’s newest cruise terminal, Cruise Terminal 1, which is the only major cruise terminal on the port’s south side, just east of the Cove restaurant district.

The $104.6 million, 188,000-square-foot Cruise Terminal 1, and an adjacent 1,007-vehicle parking garage, opened in December 2014, The terminal complex was designed to accommodate Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class ships.

The Norwegian Epic will sail out of Port Canaveral on six- and seven-day cruises to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, with some three- and four-day cruises to the Bahamas. It will be based at Port Canaveral’s newly renovated Cruise Terminal 10.

The cruise line announced in March that the ship would return for the fall and winter of 2017-18, following its stay for the fall and winter of 2016-17.

“Our community can take great pride in the fact that our port is making a very powerful statement showing everyone that
Port Canaveral is a world-class cruise port,” King said.

Contact Berman at 321-242-3649 or dberman@floridatoday.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByDaveBerman and on Facebook at facebook.com/dave.berman.54

Oasis of the Seas specs

Operated by: Royal Caribbean International

Registry: Bahamas

Built in: Turku, Finland

Maiden voyage: Dec. 5, 2009

Tonnage: 225,282 gross registered tons

Length: 1,187 feet

Width: 215 feet

Height: 213 feet above the water line

Draft: 30 feet

Cruising speed: 22 knots (about 25.3 mph)

Decks: 16 passenger decks, 18 total decks

Passenger capacity: 5,400 at double occupancy; 6.360 at maximum capacity

Crew: 2,394 from more than 70 countries

Most recent dry-dock renovation: October 2014

Article by Dave Berman at Florida Today, Complete Article [ HERE ]