Florida’s Space Coast Set for Major Economic Boost as United States Ramps Up Space Program
By Allie Raffa, Fox News // March 11, 2019
Space Coast unemployment rate rose to 12% in 2010
ABOVE VIDEO: Economic revival on Florida Space Coast fuels new space race.
BREVARD COUNTY • CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA (FOX NEWS) – In 2004, when then-President George W. Bush announced that NASA would end space exploration at the end of the decade, the region that for 50 years was a major hub for travel to outer space became anxious about its future.
Florida’s Space Coast, as it has long been known, had already been battered by the longest recession in U.S. history. The decision to end government space travel meant 30,000 jobs were lost in Brevard County. The unemployment rate, which was about 3 percent in 2006, rose to 12 percent in 2010.
But as the community prepared for the end of an era with Atlantis’ final launch on July 8, 2011, a plan was already in the works to boost the area’s economic future.
The community began courting private companies to capitalize on the dilapidated facilities that had once been the launching pads for the Apollo missions.
“When we knew that the shuttle was going to retire…we had a few years to go after and capture those new opportunities for us,” said Lynda Weatherman, president and CEO of the Space Coast Economic Development Commission.
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