Camden County is strategically positioned to be one of the most important commercial spaceports in the United States. Upon license issuance, Spaceport Camden will be the only exclusively vertical, non-federal range on the East Coast. The FAA has announced the final EIS will be released in April 2021.
As Spaceport Camden gets closer to the goal of securing a Launch Site Operator License, attention from Georgians and organizations around the country is increasing, and misinformation and rumors may begin to muddy the waters. The intent of this newsletter is to continue to provide current, accurate and comprehensive information about the project.
The emerging commercial space market is poised to fuel the future growth in Georgia’s space industry, and we are well positioned to capitalize on the global $423-billion space economy. The state of Georgia is ranked No. 1 in the 2020 Aerospace Manufacturing Attractiveness rankings by PwC. This annual ranking report is a guide to promising geographic locations for aerospace development. The index offers comparisons within the U.S. and globally, providing organizations with data they can leverage to help plan for the future. The 2021 report will be released in July 2021.
Georgia is home to more than 800 major aerospace companies, including Lockheed Martin, Gulfstream Aerospace and Meggitt Polymers & Composites. Aerospace products are Georgia’s No. 1 export, worth $10.8 billion. Aerospace products are also Georgia’s second largest manufacturing industry, worth $57.5 billion.
Many people may not know that Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, is the alma mater for 14 astronauts out of the hundreds hired by NASA, tying them for second among public universities. This university has one of the oldest and largest aerospace programs in the country. It is also the largest producer of aerospace engineers in the U.S., with one in eight PhDs in aerospace engineering educated at Georgia Tech; however, many of these graduates leave the state due to Georgia lacking a licensed spaceport. A licensed spaceport would lead to more employment opportunities for these graduates to keep this talent in Georgia.
In 2017, Camden County and the Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development (BBRED) at Georgia Southern University released an economic assessment of Spaceport Camden, which showed it would generate more than $22 million in annual economic activity for the area. This annual economic activity is in addition to the more than $9 million in economic activity that would be generated from construction activities at the spaceport in the first 15 months of operations. However, this previous study did not research the impact of Spaceport Camden on tourism and hospitality.
Recently, Camden County and the Center for Business Analytics and Economic Research (CBAER) at Georgia Southern University released a new study on the economic impact of space tourism on coastal Georgia. The report estimates that a single launch could attract approximately 4,000-5,000 visitors to the area. CBAER estimates that 38 to 45 jobs connected to tourism and hospitality would be supported long-term by the project as well. While there would be some additional new jobs as a result, the primary impact on employment would likely be adding more hours to existing employees, shifting employees from part-time to full-time work, or increasing their income due to increased customer traffic and visitor counts. The report also found Camden County already accounts for 278 of Georgia’s 926 direct space industry jobs.
CBAER estimates that launches from Spaceport Camden could increase the gross regional product of southeast Georgia by as much as $1.8 million and increase total business sales by as much as $3.6 million per launch.
Camden County’s Growing Space IndustryCamden County’s 10-year growth is 125%, higher than that of the state of Georgia (88%).
“If approved, this project will serve as the foundation for a space sector transformation in Southeast Georgia. It will create both direct and indirect jobs and increase tourism. This project would be a boost to both higher education and STEM programs across the state.
– Dr. Bobby Braun, Director of Planetary Science at the NASA/CalTech Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Aerospace Engineer, Dean, University of Colorado Boulder, former NASA Chief Technologist, former Professor at Georgia Tech aerospace engineering professor who received the first-ever Space Technology Award by the American Astronautical Society
Spaceport Camden In The News
On Monday, March 8, Spaceport Camden Executive Project Lead and Camden County Administrator Steve Howard, accompanied by Major General Robert S. Dickman, USAF, Retired, virtually presented the Spaceport Camden project to the Rotary Club of Atlanta. Here, Major General Dickman explored the global space economy and future projections. Howard followed with an in-depth presentation discussing the Spaceport Camden project and shared the potential economic, educational and tourism impacts this project will have on Camden County, the state of Georgia and the East Coast. This was followed by an open Q&A from the audience.
Watch the full presentation and read more about Major General Dickman and his importance to the project, below.
Special guest Major General Robert S. Dickman, USAF, Retired, joins The Rotary Club of Atlanta to discuss ongoing developments at Spaceport Camden.
Special guest Steve Howard joins The Rotary Club of Atlanta to discuss ongoing developments at Spaceport Camden.
Space News from the Georgia Space Grant Consortium
The Atlanta Science Festival takes place March 13-27 and has over 80 virtual, self-guided and outdoor events for children and adults. The festival is engineered by Science ATL and has over 50 community partners, with major support from founders Emory University, Georgia Tech and the Metro Atlanta Chamber. The schedule of events can be found on the Atlanta Science Festival website.
For all education institutions in the United States: NASA is turning the page to a new chapter of human space exploration. They are going to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon, and they need our help. Send in a recorded video pledge, and NASA will send it to the Moon aboard the Artemis I Mission, NASA’s first systems integration test flight of its new Space Launch System. Detailed instructions to submit can be found here. The deadline is April 2, 2021!
Savannah-Chatham Eighth-Graders Earn Top Honor in NASA-Sponsored National Competition
Earlier in this month, eight students in the Savannah Chatham E-Learning Academy’s Astronaut Club won the design challenge in the NASA-sponsored National Student Astronaut Challenge Finals. The students focused on creating a design to help astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) keep their lungs fully functional. Using a design based off an inhaler, the Georgia team placed first and beat the top engineering and lab research schools in the country. Read more, here.
New Era of U.S. Commercial Space Transportation Begins
The FAA announced a final rule supported by the National Space Council that streamlines the licensing process for private sector launch and reentry operations. This final rule, which went into effect on March 21, aims to support greater innovation, flexibility and efficiency in commercial space operations by establishing a single set of licensing and safety regulations for several types of commercial space operations and vehicles. This rule helps the United States to keep pace with the dramatic increase in the $400 billion global space industry that is expected to generate revenues of $1.1 trillion or more by 2040. Read more about the final rule, here.
As the year continues, we will continue to share facts and debunk myths about Spaceport Camden and the project.
If you absolutely can’t tolerate critics, then don’t do anything new or interesting.
— Jeff Bezos
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