The Space Coast could one day lose its enviable position, earned through decades of launches at Kennedy Space Center, as America's spaceport.
Too much is at stake for Florida to dismiss out of hand the newest proposal to set aside 150 acres of the 140,000-acre Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge for a commercial launchpad.
This month SpaceX, one of the premier space companies, launched its third cargo mission to the International Space Station. SpaceX is at the leading edge of what's shaping up to be a booming industry in the future.
While there is an existing launch infrastructure at the space center and Cape Canaveral Air Force station to the south, Space Florida says private rocketeers are looking for non-federal sites that aren't subject to NASA or military schedule and security restrictions. That explains why, though SpaceX launches its NASA missions from the space center, the company has been scouting new locations to serve commercial customers.