April 8, 2010

Programming space

This came in too late to make OBJ’s April 9 issue, but the University of Central Florida’s Metropolitan Center for Regional Studies will host The Future: Florida, NASA, and the Space Industry April 16, 8-10 a.m., at the University of Central Florida Executive Development Center in downtown Orlando.

The featured speaker is Pat Duggins, National Public Radio's NASA correspondent. Duggins also wrote Final Countdown: NASA and the End of the Space Shuttle Program. Orlandoans will remember Duggins from his days covering the space program from WMFE. He is now news director for Alabama Public Radio, which covers the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.

At the forum, a panel discussion will be moderated by Ray Gilley, president of the Metro Orlando EDC. The following panelists are scheduled to participate: Frank DiBello, president of Space Florida; Florida Sen. Mike Haridopolos; U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas; M.J. Soileau, vice president of UCF’s Office of Research and Commercialization; and Lynda Weatherman, president of SpaceCoast EDC.

I plan to be there. If you wish to attend, admission is free, but reservations are required. Make reservations by phone, (407) 235-3934 or e-mail, metro@mail.ucf.edu.

This event takes place the day after the president’s “summit” at Kennedy Space Center, so it will be interesting to hear the reactions of these leaders to whatever comes out of that meeting.

We got one piece of good news today. Details from NASA's 2011 budget request show allocations of over $1 billion for programs and facility improvements at Kennedy Space Center. You can read more about that here.

This photo, taken at at Kennedy Space Center in January, shows the construction of a new mobile launcher that would be used in the Constellation Program. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossman.

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