BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Senator Bill Nelson took to Twitter this week to remind people that commercial space companies are now a thing of the present.
- SpaceX plans to expand operations at KSC
- Government shut down led to 97% NASA's staff cut
- Housing market back up wth SpaceX arrival
Things are about to change after Senator Bill Nelson, a former astronaut, along with six other senators passed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017.
This year, SpaceX submitted plans to NASA to expand its operations at Kennedy Space Center.
This is quite a change from how things looked back in 2013, Space Coast resident Joe Manke recalls. He says after the government shutdown, which lead to 97 percent of NASA’S workforce to be furloughed, people started moving away.
"People started leaving and the housing market went down," Manke said. "That's how I was able to afford buying my house."
SpaceX's expansion plans include a launch and landing control center about 300 feet high and adding a 133,000 square foot hangar to refurbish and reuse Falcon vehicles.
In addition, the company plans to add a rocket garden to display historical space vehicles.
Manke says because of SpaceX, Blue Origin and United Launch Alliance, the Space Coast is starting to thrive. In just two years, he says his property value increased by 20 percent.
"The house market is going up with all these new programs. Everybody seems to be working and the moral is picking up," Manke said.
Manke says since the rocket business is taking off, his daughter's been very busy working at Fish Lips Restaurant and even got to meet Elon Musk.
According to the draft environmental assessment, SpaceX hopes to have 10 events a year for Falcon Heavy Launch and about 63 landings.
The SpaceX Operations Area would be located on 67 acres of agricultural land.