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Long anchored by NASA and the Kennedy Space Center, Florida’s Space Coast is today attracting private commercial firms in all aerospace sectors, from launches and manufacturing to research, facilities maintenance and servicing.

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY

Aerospace/Defense

MELBOURNE/ORLANDO Aviation-defense firm Thales is expanding with a target of 500 net new jobs by 2021. Headquartered in France, Thales is a global leader in the aerospace, transport, defense and security markets.

TITUSVILLE/ORLANDO A significant presence in East Central Florida for 60+ years, Lockheed Martin is once again expanding here, creating up to 800 jobs at its Astrotech Space Operations site in Titusville and Missiles and Fire Control plant in south Orlando. And coming soon: about 300 Lockheed jobs from California to support testing and maintenance work for the U.S. Navy’s Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile.

BREVARD COUNTY Three private aerospace companies are on track to deliver on projects announced in 2015-16:

• Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to build a hangar south of its Cape Canaveral launch sites, where recovered rocket boosters will be prepped for reuse.

• OneWeb Satellites broke ground in March 2017 on its estimated $85-million facility at Exploration Park near Kennedy Space Center; satellite production and testing are slated to begin by the end of 2017.

• Blue Origin, the rocket company created by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, began site preparation in February 2017 for an orbital launch complex and rocket engine test stand at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station; a manufacturing and assembly plant for the rockets that are expected to fly by 2020 is under construction at Exploration Park.

MELBOURNE AeroMod International, the leader in aircraft maintenance, modification and repair services, relocated its headquarters from Detroit to Orlando Melbourne International Airport and created 150 jobs; another 100 jobs are expected in 2017.

MELBOURNE Harris Corporation has opened a new Global Innovation Center at its Melbourne campus to showcase technologies the Florida-based firm has developed for the military, first responders and commercial airlines.

TITUSVILLE Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer opened its $3.5-million Aero Seating Technologies manufacturing facility in September 2017.

Key Players

The Boeing Company | Orlando, Titusville
Harris Corp. | Melbourne
Lockheed Martin | Orlando, Cape Canaveral
Northrop Grumman | Orlando, Melbourne

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY (continued)

Life Sciences/Health Care

CAPE CANAVERAL Comprehensive Health Services Inc. will move into a 63,000-sq.-ft. facility by the end of 2017 as it shifts operations from Virginia to its Brevard County headquarters and creates 150 jobs. The medical management services provider established its first Florida office in 1999.

MELBOURNE Eastern Florida State College has opened a Health Sciences Institute, offering programs leading to degrees and/or certificates in nursing, surgical technology, radiography, dental hygiene, medical coding, phlebotomy and more.

Energy

BREVARD COUNTY Florida Power & Light (FPL) expects to begin generating 74.5 megawatts of electricity — enough to power 15,000 homes — from its new Barefoot Bay Solar Energy Center in March 2018. One of eight solar plants FPL is scheduled to open across Florida by spring 2018, Barefoot Bay will require neither water nor staff to operate. FPL’s first solar facility in Brevard County — the Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center at Kennedy Space Center — has been operational since 2010.

Logistics/Transportation

PORT CANAVERAL In 2016, Canaveral Port Authority completed $137 million in projects, including renovations to increase passenger capacity at three cruise terminals. The port invested $44 million to widen and deepen the harbor and $15.2 million on improvements to cargo terminals. With 4.2 million passengers in 2016, Port Canaveral is the second-busiest cruise port in the world.

Tech savvy
Brevard County, birthplace of America’s aerospace industry, attracts 11 patents for every 10,000 workers, according to the Brookings Institution. Florida Institute of Technology tied with Cornell and Carnegie Mellon among best universities in the U.S. for producing graduates employers want to hire.

Article by Florida Trend, Complete Article [ HERE ]

Northrop Grumman in Melbourne known to get multiple contracts associated with the E-2C Hawkeye.

Defense work continues to ramp up in Central Florida with three big firms landing nearly $900 million in combined contract value, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. And even though all of the work is not taking place locally, it still will have a big impact.

Centennial, Colo.-based United Launch Alliance, a joint venture rocket company between Lockheed Martin Corp. and The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), won an $832.4M contract to continue to perform its launch services for the U.S. military. ULA was awarded the contract for its Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Program. The work involves mission assurance, program management, system engineering and integration of space vehicle with launch vehicle, launch site and range operations, and launch infrastructure maintenance and sustainment. The contract has a Sept. 30, 2018, completion date.

While the contract says the work will be performed in Colorado, United Launch Alliance launches on average once a month from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 41. ULA plans to launch its Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral to fly a classified payload to orbit for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office on Oct. 5.

ULA’s increased rocket launch activity can impact Central Florida directly by needing more launch technicians and manufacturers — all high-paying jobs.

Meanwhile, Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) won two contracts totaling $28.7 million with a chunk of the work happening in Melbourne — an area where the defense contractor is building a 500,000-square-foot business complex that will lead to nearly 2,000 new jobs.

Both Northrop contracts from the U.S. Navy will support the military-grade aircraft E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. The $14.5 million contract is to incorporate advanced radar processor and software support for cybersecurity for the E-2D. Most of the work will be performed in Melbourne and a smaller portion in New York. The contract has a May 2019 completion date.

A $14.2M contract from the U.S. Navy involves Northrop Grummaninstalling two aerial refueling kits for the E-2D. A small part of the work will take place in Merritt Island as well as more than dozen other places in the U.S. The contract has a January 2019 completion date.

The E-2D and E-2C program received more than 164 contracts last year, totaling more than $480 million, but not all of that work was done in Melbourne. The program currently supports about 800 jobs in Melbourne. Northrop Grumman also has more than 100 positions open for its Melbourne, Orlando and Apopka locations.

Further, Lockheed Martin Corp. won a $24.3 million contract from the U.S. Navy to perform services on the Mark 41 Vertical Launching System — a shipborne missile canister that provides rapid fire launch against threats. Work mostly will be done in Indiana, but a small part will be in Orlando where Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has more than 7,000 employees. The contract has a December 2022 completion date.

Lockheed Martin has more than 700 job openings in Orlando and nearly 50 in Cape Canaveral according to its career website. Most positions call for software engineers, developers and cyber security personnel — jobs that may pay an average annual salary of $75,000.

Military contracts contribute to the local economy in the form of jobs and subcontractor opportunities, and Central Florida is a major player when it comes to defense contracts. The region snags about $4 billion in government contracts each year because the nation’s Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines simulation operations are based in Central Florida Research Park. That work helps make Orlando the modeling, simulation and training capital of the world, according to the Orlando Economic Partnership.

By   –  Staff writer, Orlando Business Journal, Complete Article [ HERE ]

Lockheed Martin unveils fully reusable crewed Martian lander from CNBC.

 

  • Lockheed Martin gave CNBC a first look at its new spacecraft prototype.
  • “This is a single stage, completely reusable lander,” said Lockheed Martin’s Robert Chambers.
  • The concept is Lockheed Martin’s vision for what may come after NASA’s Deep Space Gateway mission to test habitable orbital environments.
Lockheed Martin unveils fully reusable crewed Martian lander

Lockheed Martin unveils fully reusable crewed Martian lander  

NASA’s goal to reach Mars is just over a decade away, and Lockheed Martin revealed Thursday how humans might soon walk upon the red planet’s surface.

Lockheed Martin gave CNBC a first look at its new spacecraft prototype, which the company will unveil Thursday at this year’s International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia.

“This is a single-stage, completely reusable lander which will be able to both descend and ascend,” said Lockheed Martin’s Robert Chambers.

Chambers is a senior systems engineer at the aerospace and defense giant, helping to lead the Mars Base Camp project. The concept is Lockheed Martin’s vision for what may come after NASA’s Deep Space Gateway mission, which will begin in the early 2020s.

Starting with testing near the moon under the NextSTEP program, NASA aims to develop the infrastructure needed to send people to Mars. Lockheed Martin is one of six U.S. companies under NASA contract to build prototypes for NextSTEP.

 

Built using technology from the existing Orion spacecraft, the lander is single-stage and reusable. Chambers says that developing a vehicle that could both land and lift off means “developing one less system,” which cuts costs.

“We think you shouldn’t invent anything new if you don’t need to,” Chambers said.

Chambers says his team plans to use cryogenic hydrogen as fuel because of the “water-based economy” they anticipate on Mars, where water can power both the orbital base camp and the lander. Lockheed Martin intends to send humans on a mission lasting around three years long: six to nine months traveling to Mars, 12 to 18 months on Mars and six to nine months traveling back to Earth.

“We designed a lander that can fuel in orbit, that has enough room to support a crew of four people for two weeks and then take off again,” Chambers said.

This method means Lockheed Martin could provide NASA with the capability of flying three surface trips in one Mars mission. More importantly, Chambers says NASA could send a crew on the very first mission, as testing the lander unmanned would only require using one of three opportunities.

Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin’s Mars Base Camp Orbiter habitat with two landers.

Entry into the Martian atmosphere is a separate hurdle for Chambers’ team. Lockheed Martin’s lander would utilize “aero braking,” Chambers says. He said the SR-71 Blackbird — the company’s famed supersonic spyplane — provided lessons about the atmospheric heat loads different materials can endure when it flew for hours and hours under extreme pressure.

“We’re looking at how we solved problems 50 years ago with the SR-71 and learning how we can apply those now,” Chambers added.

While it is unclear whether NASA’s Deep Space Gateway mission will include landing on the moon, Lockheed Martin said its lander would also be capable of a lunar mission if required.

The first deep space habitat for NextSTEP is being built at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, using a retrofitted cargo module from the International Space Station.

The other five companies NASA selected to develop deep space habitats are Boeing; Bigelow Aerospace; Orbital ATK, now owned by Northrop Grumman; Sierra Nevada Space Systems, and NanoRacks.

Article by CNBC, Complete Article [ HERE ]

A NASA sign is seen at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida April 14, 2010. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Washington, September 28 (IANS) With the aim to build a space station orbiting the Moon before sending humans further in deep space, NASA has entered into an agreement with Russian space agency Roscosmos, reflecting the common vision for human space exploration that the agencies share.

The two space agencies signed a joint statement on Wednesday at the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia, to give shape to the “deep-space gateway” concept, a mission architecture designed to send astronauts into cislunar space — or lunar orbit.

NASA plans to send humans to Mars in the 2030s.

“While the deep space gateway is still in concept formulation, NASA is pleased to see growing international interest in moving into cislunar space as the next step for advancing human space exploration,” Robert Lightfoot, NASA’s Acting Administrator, said in a statement.

“Statements such as this one signed with Roscosmos show the gateway concept as an enabler to the kind of exploration architecture that is affordable and sustainable,” Lightfoot said.

NASA plans to expand human presence in the solar system starting in the vicinity of the Moon using its new deep space exploration transportation systems, the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft.

The space station partners are working to identify common exploration objectives and possible missions for the 2020s, including the gateway concept, NASA said.

NASA and Roscosmos already work together with other space agencies around the world to run research projects aboard the International Space Station.

Now the international partners will work together to build a miniature space station in lunar orbit – a type of infrastructure that could serve as a stepping stone for future crewed missions to Mars, Space.com reported quoting NASA officials.

The new partnership would “develop international technical standards … for the establishment of the station in the near-moon orbit,” Roscosmos officials said.

The partners also discussed the possibility of using a Russian superheavy rocket to complete construction of the orbital moon station, according to Roscosmos.

Article by Morung, Complete Article [ HERE ]

Iridium Next will be Iridium’s second-generation global satellite constellation, It will maintain the existing Iridium constellation of 66 low-Earth orbit satellites that provide global communications coverage. The company is pitching the satellites for the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System the internationally agreed-upon set of safety standards used by ship operators.

SpaceX’s big plans to launch nearly 12,000 satellites to orbit, along with OneWeb LLC wanting to launch 900 satellites, means big opportunities coming to Central Florida in the form of manufacturing and increased launch activity — and that may be just the start of what’s to come.

The reason both SpaceX and OneWeb want to launch hundreds or thousands of satellites to space is to increase connectivity in the U.S. and around the world, but the demand for broadband — high-speed internet access — only will increase as more devices are made to connect to the internet.

“Demand for broadband certainly is not diminishing,” said Dale Ketcham, chief of strategic alliances for Space Florida, the state’s economic development agency for aerospace. “With the coming of self-driving cars, trucks, planes, trains and the internet of things, that demand only will continue to expand exponentially.”

The internet of things industry would be a big contributor to more satellite activity happening, and Osceola County’s 500-acre tech campus NeoCity may be a big contributor for what’s to come.

NeoCity will be ground zero for smart sensor studies and development — tiny computer chips that will connect everyday items to the internet — and it’s expected to have a global market impact of $154 billion by 2025.

NeoCity is slated to be a 50-year mixed-use development project, bringing in big-name companies, apartments, schools and retail to fill out the more than 11 million square feet of space.

As more smart sensors are developed, more satellites to support connectivity will be needed. A total of about 1 trillion smart sensors are eexpected to be in use globally by 2022, according to a report by TSensor Summit, an international organization that helps map out the use of smart sensors globally.

More satellite companies like Luxemburg-based Intelsat SA and Englewood, Colo.-based EchoStar Corp. may increase their production of satellite to keep up with the demand. Both companies use Hawthorne, Calif.-based SpaceX and Centennial, Colo.-based United Launch Alliance’s rockets to boost satellites to orbit from Cape Canaveral. If the demand of satellites increase, more rocket launch activity in Central Florida may increase as well.

As of December 2016, there are 1,459 operational satellites orbiting Earth, according to the Satellite Industry Association’s 2017 report. According to NASA, there are about 2,600 satellites up there that no longer work.

The use of the 1,459 functioning satellites is as follows:

  • Commercial communications: 35 percent
  • Earth observation: 19 percent
  • Government communications: 14 percent
  • Research and development: 12 percent
  • Navigation: 7 percent
  • Military surveillance: 6 percent
  • Scientific: 5 percent
  • Meteorology: 2 percent

By   –  Staff writer, Orlando Business Journal, Complete Article [ HERE ]

SpaceX has jumped into the satellite business — a move that may bring more big business to Florida’s Space Coast.

The Hawthorne, Calif.-based rocket company on Aug. 21 filed a trademark for the name “Starlink” with the U.S. Patent & Trademark office.

Starlink is expected to provide telecommunication connections to the internet, high-speed wireless internet access, multiple user access and more via satellite, the trademark filing document showed.

This move appears to tie to a SpaceX document filed last year with the Federal Communications Commission. The company then said it plans to launch thousands of satellites into space to improve internet connectivity in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, as previously reported by Orlando Business Journal.

SpaceX wants to launch nearly 12,000 satellites — 4,425 in low Earth orbit and 7,500 satellites operating even closer to Earth — starting in 2019, Patricia Cooper, vice president of satellite government affairs for SpaceX, said May 3 in a statement to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Technology.

And if the company will launch its own satellites, that’s big for Brevard County — a prime spot for rocket activity.

SpaceX already launches its Falcon 9 rocket about three times a month from Cape Canaveral. And there may be more if the company plans to begin sending its own satellites to space, said Dale Ketcham, chief of strategic alliances for Space Florida, the state’s aerospace industry economic development agency.

“Our share of that growth [would be] a significant increase in launch activity here at the cape,” Ketcham told OBJ.

More Space Coast launches mean more manufacturing and software development jobs to support the continued repair of the rockets and other services.

Right now, SpaceX has 23 Cape Canaveral job positions advertised on its website, including IT, launch engineering, manufacturing and production, and supply chain management positions.

SpaceX’s business model is to launch its rocket for clients, which mostly consist of the U.S. government military and satellite operators. The firm helps drive down costs by landing its rockets to refurbish them to launch again — a move that helps boost the commercial space business.

The company likely wants to start its own satellite business because “of the more than $380 billion that is in the space marketplace, most of that money is in this domain,” Ketcham said.

In fact, about $5.5 billion of the satellite industry’s $260.5 billion in global 2016 revenue was from launch services, according to the Satellite Industry Association’s 2017 report.

But SpaceX will have to face heavy competition from other big players in the industry such as Arlington, Va.-based OneWeb LLC, which plans to launch 900 satellites to space starting in 2019.

OneWeb plans to build satellites in its new $85 million, more than 100,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Merritt Island beginning in 2018.OneWeb has a proven method of building refrigerator-size satellites within a week, rather than taking months at a time, the company has said.

“OneWeb is the closest to getting its constellation up, so it has a chance to be first to market,” Ketcham added.

Though SpaceX doesn’t yet have a proven record, it can rely on its own launch services — and that’s a big benefit.

By the numbers

$5.5 billion: Launch industry

$13.9 billion: Satellite manufacturing

$113.4 billion: Ground equipment

$127.7 billion: Satellite services

How could Amazon.com Inc.’s HQ2 benefit Orlando’s culture? In many ways, we’re still developing our identity as a city. We’re not a blank canvas; we have many wonderful institutions. But we could benefit from the kind of expansion and diversification that would result from an Amazon headquarters here. Amazon would have some ability to shape the culture of Orlando, which might be appealing to a company that values culture and community.


Defense deals

Lockheed Martin, others win $85.5M in contracts

Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE; LMT), CDM Constructors Inc. and Triton Marine Construction Corp. secured five contracts between Sept. 18-22 for a combined $85.5 million, with part of the work happening in Orlando and Cape Canaveral. Here’s a breakdown:

$32.6M: Lockheed Martin Corp. (U.S. Navy)

$19.5M : Lockheed Martin Corp. (U.S. Navy)

$15.1M: CDM Constructors Inc. (U.S. Navy)

$10.6M: Lockheed Martin Corp. (U.S. Army)

$7.7M: Triton Marine Construction Corp. (U.S. Navy)

By   –  Staff writer, Orlando Business Journal, Complete Article [ HERE ]

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla., Sept. 23, 2017 : Advancing the Tomorrow’s Port Canaveral vision to accommodate future growth for the world’s second-busiest cruise port, Canaveral Port Authority engaged long-time partner CH2M to design a new terminal to support its cruise business, which currently accounts for 80 percent of the Port’s revenue.

The new terminal will join the Port’s Cruise Terminal One, also designed by CH2M, in its ability to serve ships like Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class, with capacities of more than 5,400 passengers. The berth will also strengthen Port Canaveral’s position as an in-demand port-of-call and popular vacation destination.

In addition to leading design of the proposed 1,400-foot-long terminal berth, CH2M will provide permit support, dredging, bidding support and construction support as part of their waterside engineering design and permitting services contract.

“With experience on both waterside and landside design of cruise terminals at Port Canaveral, we dive deeper than most when it comes to understanding the relationship between a wharf and terminal,” said Gary Ledford, CH2M project manager. “Our multi-faceted design knowledge will aid the Port Authority in ensuring that the wharf and the new terminal function seamlessly together so incoming ships can turn around efficiently and continue their journeys.”

Guided by their previous success on every recent major waterfront permitting effort at Port Canaveral, and permitting for nearly all of Florida’s deepwater ports, CH2M will assist the Port Authority in securing permits from various state and local agencies including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission.

Said CH2M Global Transportation Market Director Kevin Slack, “We’re proud to be a significant partner of Port Canaveral’s past growth and are eager to continue supporting the successful implementation of a bigger, better terminal to serve today’s largest vessels, and assisting the Port Authority in its strategic cruise and infrastructure improvement plans.”

The new berth will support an estimated nearly 4,000 permanent jobs, in coordination with overall modernization and improvement plans, including the Port’s channel widening and deepening and new cargo piers.

With a legacy spanning more than a century, including work at Port Canaveral since 1954, CH2M’s maritime and coastal engineers lead the industry in developing and implementing modernization and capacity increasing solutions that advance business, stakeholder and community goals.

Article by Newkerala, Complete Article [ HERE ]

Where is it? Brevard County, on Florida’s east-central coast, is home to Kennedy Space Center, which is how it earned its Space Coast moniker. Brevard is a long, narrow county between Daytona Beach and Vero Beach with 72 miles of Atlantic coastline.

Who lives here? The county had a population of 579,130 as of 2016, according to the Census Bureau. Residents are spread across 26 cities, towns and unincorporated communities. Beachside towns include Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, Cape Canaveral and Melbourne Beach. Inland are Melbourne, Cocoa, Rockledge, Palm Bay and Titusville. The population is a good mix of families and retirees. About 18 percent of the residents are younger than 18; 23 percent are older than 65. Kennedy Space Center means Brevard County is home to multiple space-related industries, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Blue Origin and SpaceX. Northrop Grumman, Embraer and Harris Corp. add to the high-tech corridor, which means there are a lot of engineers and retired engineers in the area. Patrick Air Force Base is located in Brevard County, bringing about 13,000 military, dependents, civilian employees and contractors to the area.

Recreation: Cocoa Beach is home to 11-time world champion surfer Kelly Slater, so surfing is kind of a big deal. But it’s also fine to take it easy and stroll along the beaches looking for shells or sea glass. In addition to the Atlantic coastline, the Indian, Banana and St. Johns rivers run through the county, offering abundant opportunities for fishing, boating and spotting wildlife such as alligators, manatees and bottlenose dolphins. Air boat rides through the marshes are popular. Kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding are common in the calm waters of the Indian River Lagoon.

The Brevard Zoo is a local favorite, with interactive exhibits, a sea turtle rehabilitation hospital and a challenging zipline course. More than 20 golf courses are open year-round. There also are active running and cycling groups up and down the county.

Arts & Entertainment: The King Center for the Performing Arts on the Melbourne campus of Eastern Florida State College is the Space Coast’s premiere showplace. National musical, theater, dance and comedy acts, as well as children’s theater and community events, pack the schedule of the 2,000-seat auditorium. The professional Brevard Symphony Orchestra also performs there. Brevard boasts five active community theaters that produce full seasons of musicals, comedies and dramas. The Space Coast Symphony offers another option for classical and pops music lovers, and for musicians who want to join in the fun, there’s the Brevard Community Band. Brevard has two fine-arts museums, the Foosaner Art Museum in the Eau Gallie Arts District, and the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts on the campus of Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne.

Shopping: If you’re looking for popular national chains, the Space Coast has you covered. In addition to the traditional Melbourne Square and Merritt Square malls, there are three outdoor shopping centers: The Avenue Viera, Hammock Landing in West Melbourne and Titus Landing in Titusville. All three continue to grow. For a charming, hometown shopping experience, downtown Melbourne, Cocoa Village, downtown Titusville and the Eau Gallie Arts District are walkable areas with quaint local shops and cafes. No visit to the Space Coast would be complete without a visit to world-famous Ron Jon Surf Shop, which like the beach, is open 24/7.

Housing: There are plenty of housing options in Brevard County – single-family homes, condos, townhouses and rental apartments. There are residences on the beach, along the Indian River Lagoon and close to Interstate 95 and numerous city and county parks. The median sales price for a single-family home in Brevard is $220,000. Beachside properties – houses and condos – can run into the millions, as do many larger homes along the river.

Health care: Health First is the area’s biggest health-care provider, with four hospitals, fitness centers, primary care and specialty clinics across the county. Health First Health Plans offers multiple insurance coverage options. Parrish Medical Center is an award-winning hospital system in the northern part of the county. Wuesthoff Medical Center has hospitals in Rockledge and Melbourne. There are also multiple rehabilitation hospitals in the area.

Where to eat: The dining scene on the Space Coast has upped its game in recent years, with cuisines ranging from rustic American to Korean barbecue to high-end seafood. Most of the national chains have a presence here, but the local places are where you get a real flavor for the community. In Cocoa Village, try Café Margaux or Crush XI for an upscale date night, or enjoy a beer and a river view at Ryan’s Village Pizza. In downtown Melbourne, Nomad Café offers a quaint take on farm-to-table food. Cross the bridge to Scott’s on Fifth or Islands Fish Grill in Indialantic. Brevard also has a growing number of craft breweries, such as Hell ‘n Blazes Brewing Company in downtown Melbourne and Playalinda Brewing Company in Titusville. For dinner and a craft brew, visit Playalinda’s Brix Project gastropub.

Where to stay while you check it out: State Road A1A is lined with beachfront hotels from Cape Canaveral to Melbourne Beach. The Radisson Resort at the Port is a favorite for cruisers headed to Port Canaveral. For a relaxing change of pace, there are bed and breakfast inns such as Parrish Grove Inn in Cocoa Village and Port D’Hiver Bed & Breakfast in Melbourne Beach. There are also many condos within walking distance of the beach that are available for rental by the week, month or season.

Interesting facts: Brevard County’s Cocoa Beach was the setting of the 1960s sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie,” but fans of the show who expect to see rocky, mountainous shorelines will be disappointed. “Jeannie” wasn’t filmed in Florida. There is, however, an I Dream of Jeannie Lane in Cocoa Beach, and the Cocoa Beach Half Marathon, held in October, features a genie bottle medal and a Jeannie look-alike contest. Port Canaveral is ranked as the world’s second-busiest cruise port. In addition to surfer Kelly Slater, Brevard County produced comedian Carrot Top, NBC sports broadcaster Cris Collinsworth and baseball greats Tim Wakefield and Prince Fielder.

What’s nearby: Brevard County is less than an hour from Orlando and the theme parks. Daytona Beach is an hour or so north, and historic St. Augustine is just over two hours away. Drive south for two to three hours, and you’ll reach Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

Good to know: One of the favorite pastimes on the Space Coast is watching rocket launches. Locals love to gaze up into the sky and say things like, “Yep, there goes separation.” You’ll have to hang out here for a while to figure out what that means. Summer brings sea turtle nesting season. It’s fascinating to watch, just don’t get to close.

Official homepage: www.visitspacecoast.com/

Article by Suzy Fleming Leonard, FLORIDA TODAY, Complete Article [ HERE ]

The Canaveral Port Authority has contracted with CH2M Engineering to provide the waterside design, engineering and support services for Port Canaveral’s new Cruise Terminal 3. The Port will invest $150 million for the new terminal, targeted for completion in 2019, which will support an estimated nearly 4,000 permanent jobs, in coordination with the Port’s overall modernization and improvement plans, including the Port’s channel widening and deepening, and repairs and improvements to cargo piers.

BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – Efforts are underway at Port Canaveral for a new cruise terminal.

The Canaveral Port Authority  has contracted with CH2M Engineering to provide the waterside design, engineering and support services for Port Canaveral’s new Cruise Terminal 3.

CPA Commissioners approved the $1.2 million funding for CH2M’s project management contract, taking the first step in a two-year work plan to build a state-of-the-art facility able to serve cruise vessels with up to 8,000 passengers calling on the Port.

The new terminal will replace one of Port’s oldest cruise terminals currently being used for single-day port of call vessels.

“Port Canaveral continues to experience growth in all sectors, and particularly in our cruise business,” said Port Canaveral CEO Captain John Murray.

“With 80 percent of our revenue from cruise operations, it’s important that we continuously improve our capabilities to meet the current and future needs some of the world’s largest, most sophisticated cruise ships.”

CH2M will assist CPA is securing permits from various state and local agencies including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The Port will invest $150 million for the new terminal, targeted for completion in 2019, which will support an estimated nearly 4,000 permanent jobs, in coordination with the Port’s overall modernization and improvement plans, including the Port’s channel widening and deepening, and repairs and improvements to cargo piers.

Recognizing Port Canaveral’s economic role and responsibility in Brevard County and Central Florida, the CPA has invested $195 million over the last few years in the Port’s cruise terminal infrastructure, while remaining steadfast to its charter commitment to provide community access to the Port’s parks and recreation facilities.

“The popularity and avid use of the Port’s Jetty Park recreation facilities adjacent to the CT-3 terminal, especially the public boat ramps and fishing areas, are very important to the Port,” said Murray.

“The Port’s Board of Commissioners has directed that engineering staff make continued public access to these areas a priority, and to ensure before, during, and after construction that boat parking is minimally impacted.”

“The new cruise terminal plans absolutely demand that whatever parking area may be encumbered during construction will be replaced one-for-one. The net loss of any parking in that area will be negligible,” said Murray.

“Beginning with this design phase and on through the building phases, visitors may see engineers, contractors, equipment and Port personnel working in and around the current terminal building and bulkhead. Down the road, it may be necessary to reconfigure some current parking spaces and set temporary limits for day parking at Jetty Park to accommodate construction equipment and crews.”

Port Canaveral is the second busiest cruise port in the world, and the third largest Florida port by earned revenues. A gateway for cruises, cargo, recreation and logistics, Port Canaveral hosts more than 4 million revenue cruise passengers through its state-of-the-art terminals and 5.5 million of tons of cargo annually, including bulk, break-bulk, project, and containerized.

Article by Space Coast Daily, Complete Article [ HERE ]

Porter Airlines is starting non-stop flights from Windsor to Florida.

It will be a weekly flight to Melbourne airport, on the Atlantic coast one hour east of Orlando, operating from Dec. 16 to March 31. The Windsor flight was announced Friday along with a similar Ottawa flight. Up to now Porter was offering seasonal flights only from Toronto to Orlando-Melbourne.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said he’s delighted with the news, something that took more than a year of feeding data to Porter about the local demand for the service.

“For us, this is the right fit. It’s something we’ve been working with Porter on for some time and now it’s here, so this is great.”

The Windsor and Ottawa flights are Porter’s first flights to the U.S. from airports outside of Toronto, where its main base is Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

“And we are honoured Windsor has been chosen as one of the first cities outside of Toronto from which Porter will fly direct to Florida,” Dilkens said in news release. ”

Our market research shows Florida is by far Windsor’s No. 1 destination and this new Porter route will help satisfy a huge demand in our community.”

Porter spokesman Brad Cicero said the flights will be primarily Saturdays, employing a turboprop Bombardier Q400 aircraft seating 70.

The flight time is less than three hours, which is comparable to a jet, especially when you consider the convenience of taking off from Windsor, according to Cicero.

When asked whether a flight on a smaller plane provides the same services as a bigger jet, he said: “I think people will find they get more with Porter,” citing a “robust” menu of complementary snacks including beer and wine.

The price will vary but it will be about $247 one way from Windsor, with the return flight slightly less. There’s a fee for checked baggage.

Porter president and CEO Robert Deluce said adding Ottawa and Windsor to the popular Toronto route “means that more people can visit this area of Florida by leaving directly from their own communities.”

While several airlines offer flights out of Windsor to tropical vacation locales like Cuba, Jamaica and Cancun, none offer non-stop flights to Florida. In 2105, National Airlines announced a year-round service between Windsor and Orlando but that didn’t last very long before National got out of passenger air travel all together.

Cicero said the Porter flights from Toronto to Orlando-Melbourne had been quite successful, so the airline and the  airport started talking about flights from other Canadian cities. Windsor was one they selected because there was no direct service from Windsor to Florida and there appeared to be a strong demand. Most Windsor people go to busy Detroit Metro for a direct flight.

Now people can take a non-stop flight without having to cross the border, Cicero said.

The Orlando-Melbourne location is “an ideal Sunshine State destination,” according to Porter. It’s actually on the Atlantic coast and about an hour drive to the major attractions in Orlando. Port Canaveral (a popular cruise port) is 20 minutes away, Kennedy Space Center is 30 minutes and the nearest beach is 10 minutes.

“Ottawans and Windsorites are in for a treat and we are grateful to Porter for the opportunity to grow with this incredible airline,” the airport’s executive director Greg Donovan said.

The mayor said the Porter announcement is more good news for Windsor’s airport, whose fortunes have soared in recent years after lean times when the city had to subsidize its operations. In both 2015 and 2016, as passenger volumes rose, the airport paid a $1-million dividend to city hall, which benefits taxpayers, said Dilkens.

He said the airport continues to try to attract new airlines and flights. It’s exploring new destinations in the south as well as in Europe.

Porter has offered Windsor flights for more than six years, providing competition to Air Canada that keeps the price down for domestic flights, Dilkens said, adding that customers like the service they receive flying with Porter.

“So I think it’s a natural expansion for them to fly direct from Windsor to Florida, and I’m sure people who are used to flying Porter will certainly appreciate that experience flying down to Florida as well.”

bcross@postmedia.com