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Nelson Says SpaceX Landing Promises Change For Central Florida

Sen. Bill Nelson. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE
Sen. Bill Nelson. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson says SpaceX's thrilling landing of a spent rocket after it launched 11 satellites into orbit will transform central Florida.

The central Florida Democrat says the historic achievement will drive down the cost of spaceflight and bring new entrepreneurs and more innovation to the industry.

SpaceX landed the rocket Monday at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It was the first time an unmanned rocket returned to Earth and landed successfully after reaching orbit.

Nelson says the achievement represents a big boost for Florida's Space Coast and its fledgling commercial space industry.

"This will be the space Silicon Valley of the future of the U.S."

Nelson flew in space in 1986 aboard the shuttle Columbia.

SpaceX is one of two companies selected by NASA to replace the shuttle in flying astronauts to the International Space Station. The first manned mission is expected in 2017.

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.