Breathing Space

Nearly 50 years after the last Apollo mission lifted off from Cape Canaveral, NASA’s Artemis project propels Florida’s space economy with companies and universities as partners.

Cape Canaveral juts into the Atlantic Ocean like an arrow. Its flat terrain is a good location to build towering rockets and launch them over open water — a dangerous business made safer by directing projectiles away from people. At the dawn of the space age, the federal government considered other sites, but Florida had a rare, invisible asset that sealed the deal.

June 6, 2023
Amy Keller | 9/1/2022

Cape Canaveral’s proximity to the equator means the Earth’s spin — roughly 914 mph here — is stronger than up the eastern seaboard. That momentum gives rockets an extra boost as they break the bonds of Earth, saving precious fuel. Through triumph and tragedy and decades of economic booms and busts, the cape has remained Florida’s constant competitive advantage.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 17, the last time man walked on the moon. In mythology, Artemis is Apollo’s twin and goddess of the moon, and when the U.S. declared its new goal to return humans to the moon, the name personified a bold ambition to create a sustainable presence in space for launching missions to Mars and beyond. To accomplish this audacious endeavor, a constellation of private companies and academic researchers is partnering in the effort and, once again, energizing Florida’s economic evolution.

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New Tampa Bay History Center exhibit tells 500 years of Black history
New Tampa Bay History Center exhibit tells 500 years of Black history

Travails and Triumphs starts with enslaved Africans brought to Florida in the 1500s and concludes with the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020. 

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