by: Davis Yancy Clegg
Mankind’s most daring and courageous of pursuits has stood the test of our time as the space race. Whether it is taking a risk on a small business or pursuing a personal dream, our greatest passions are seeded in a sense of wonder. Perhaps the most pondered mystery of all time is not the marvels we witness on the 3rd rocks that are amongst us, but what is beyond our world. Space. Endless, space has perplexed the most intelligent of our kind and left none with the concrete evidence of how the universe was created. Its exploration has been a popular focus of science since long before my time. While the space program was suspended, our desire for knowledge was not. We continue to use the means at hand to further the voyage of man into the unknown.
Currently, plans have been underway for a spaceport to be built in Camden County just across the intracoastal waterway near Harriet’s Bluff. There are a number of spaceports around the country and internationally. Basically, a port is a site of considerable size that is equipped to be host to rocket launches and the like. Those with Multiple Launch sites are tens of thousands of acres in size to accommodate the safety precautions for each launch pad. Depending on whether they are launching satellites in continuous orbit or shuttle missions, they may or may not include runways as well. A spaceport located in Camden means great things to come in a couple of years. Residents of the area and surrounding areas can expect to see the first local launch in the year 2018. The spaceport will bring as many as 2,500 jobs to Camden County. That is a “launch” in itself for the local economy! Speaking with First Coast News, Ronya Rosado stated, “The state and region are definitely behind the site and we want to be the next spaceport.” She also went on to explain that many of the jobs will be very well paid positions. I was curious as to what prompted the idea to have the spaceport built in the Harriet’s Bluff area. After a little digging around, I discovered that back in the 1960’s the most powerful and cutting edge rocket in the world was being tested on the exact same site. With nearly two years invested in making the spaceport happen, the county administrator helped sway the Camden County Commission to purchase the 4,000 acre property where the port will be hosted. There is still much that got to be done before ground is broken on the project. There has to be extensive environmental impact testing done by the FAA that will take every bit of 18 months if not more. Given all of the talented technicians from several areas of study that are currently at Kings bay, the County shouldn’t have any issues in staffing the spaceport with exceptionally talented personnel. Personally, I am ecstatic that we are going to have an entry into the space race in our area! It’s a very exciting time for our little spec on the globe. And before long, some of our peers and neighbors will be looking down on that spec from none other than the very last frontier.
You can look up into the universe right from one of our cruises. Join us on the Family friendly Sunset Cruise.