Cocoa Beach Thrives During Private Space Race

(p. B6) Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are racing to send people into outer space and eventually to the moon and Mars. They are already improving the fortunes of a coastal Florida city that is home to their budding space ambitions.

Cocoa Beach, which sits south of Cape Canaveral on the Atlantic coast, was hit hard by the 2009 recession and the subsequent end to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s space shuttle program. The economic downturn and space program’s demise led to large-scale layoffs and a reduction in tourism.

Now the city of 11,000 is in the middle of a resurgence as the private space industry’s rocket launches bring jobs and visitors back. Blue Origin LLC has built a rocket factory north of Cocoa Beach. The company—founded by Mr. Bezos, the chief executive of Inc. —plans to launch its New Glenn rocket from Cape Canaveral in 2021. Blue Origin hopes one day to bring people to the moon.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, is holding test launches on the cape and is expected to shoot a rocket with 60 satellites into space this week—and, at some point, send people on a mission to Mars. SpaceX was founded by Mr. Musk, who is also a founder of Tesla Inc.

For the full story, see:

Konrad Putzier. “Florida City Buoyed by Space Race.” The Wall Street Journal (Wednesday, May 22, 2019): B6.

(Note: the online version of the story has the date May 21, 2019, and has the title “Space Rockets Spark Property Boom on Florida Coast.”)

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