Space Florida today announced a plan to spur more suborbital and parabolic science reserach flights from the state by paying up to $10,000 of the cost to fly a payload.
"We believe that the Space Florida Sub-Orbital Flight Incentive Program will provide a unique stimulus for Florida scientists, researchers and academics that have an interest in exploring the scientific benefits that microgravity provides," Space Florida President Frank DiBello said in a statement.
Space Florida, the state's aerospace economic development agency, said Masten Space Systems, Starfighters/StarLab and Zero G Corp. have expressed interest in the program, and more flight providers are expected.
The program takes effect this week and runs through 2013.
The announcement came as space industry advocates are meeting with state lawmakers in Tallahassee for Florida Space Day 2012.
"I believe this is a step in the right direction to facilitate additional job creation and university research in Florida," said state Sen. Thad Altman, chairman of the Florida Senate Subcommittee on Military Affairs, Space and Domestic Security, said in the statement.
IMAGE: Masten Space System's Xaero vehicle. Credit: Masten.