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Florida Projects Selected for Space Research and Education Grants

Press Release From: Florida Space Research Institute
Posted: Friday, July 7, 2006

Grant Program Aimed at Expanding, Diversifying Florida's Space Industry

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACEPORT The Florida Space Research Institute (FSRI) and the NASA-sponsored Florida Space Grant Consortium (FSGC) today announced the selection of 18 space research and education projects to receive over $364,000 in grant funding under the Florida/NASA Matching Grant Program. The annual program combines federal and state funds for projects that diversify Florida's space industry and support aerospace workforce development statewide.

"Seed grants like these can do much to grow Florida-based space research capabilities and support the needs of government, industry and university space programs," said FSGC Director Jaydeep Mukherjee, Ph.D. "We do this by leveraging state and federal funds for strategically important R&D projects, making the Florida/NASA Matching Grant Program an excellent investment for the state."

"This latest round of awards brings the program's total to over $2.83 million for space research and education projects, with over half of the money provided by NASA," said FSRI Executive Director Sam Durrance, Ph.D., a former astronaut who flew aboard two Space Shuttle science missions. "Many of the grants have enabled long-term partnerships between universities, industry, and NASA."

The 2006 grant projects will involve six different universities, including Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida Institute of Technology, Florida State University, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, and University of South Florida. Two grants will also go to NASA researchers at Kennedy Space Center. All grants will be awarded pending the availability of state and federal funds.

The projects cover a variety of topics, such as space-based biomedical research, hydrogen production and storage, space-based debris mitigation, and space-based propellant technologies. This year's program included a funding contribution by Aero Decals, Inc., in addition to over $205,000 in matching contributions from the project sponsors. A list of this year's projects, along with previous grant awards, is posted at http://www.fsri.org/grant_program_grant_program.htm.

FSRI was established by the Governor and Legislature to diversify Florida's space industry by developing space research and technology programs. FSRI will be dissolved on August 31 and its programs, including the Florida/NASA Matching Grant Program, will be transferred to Space Florida, a new agency that will be responsible for statewide space industry development. FSGC, hosted at the University of Central Florida, is part of a nationwide NASA-sponsored network of 52 academic consortia responsible for supporting space research and education projects.

FSRI - Edward Ellegood, 321-452-2653, ext. 204

FSGC Jaydeep Mukherjee, 321-452-4301

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