State and Federal Space Stakeholders Release Florida Spaceport System Maritime Intermodal Transportation Study Feasibility Phase Report

State and Federal Space Stakeholders Release Florida Spaceport System Maritime Intermodal Transportation Study Feasibility Phase Report

EXPLORATION PARK, Fla.—May 2, 2024—Space Florida, the state’s aerospace finance and development authority, announces the completion of the feasibility phase of the Florida Spaceport System Maritime Intermodal Transportation Study. This study marks preliminary steps in enhancing maritime support for the rapidly growing commercial space transportation sector with the overall objective to assess options to enhance and optimize maritime transportation and infrastructure to support Florida’s spaceport system’s growing needs.

This first-in-the-nation study was conducted over one year and included extensive engineering and stakeholder analyses. The study was initiated in response to requests from federal stakeholders. Download the report and an FAQ document.

As the space industry’s launch activities surge, the demand for specialized maritime infrastructure has become increasingly apparent. The study aims to address this critical need by assessing the feasibility of various maritime support options for spaceport operations in Florida.

Key Findings of the Feasibility Phase

  • Asset Inventory and Demand Forecast: Current facilities at Port Canaveral and surrounding areas are insufficient to meet the projected demand for maritime operations related to space launches, necessitating over 9,000 linear feet of dedicated wharf space.
  • Strategic Expansion Plans: Through an in-depth alternatives analysis, the study recommends short- and mid-term expansions in the West and Middle Turning Basins, with a visionary long-term expansion northward to meet future industry demands.
  • Innovative Concept Designs: Proposed designs include the utilization of existing infrastructure for immediate needs and significant expansions for long-term capacity, ensuring the spaceport system’s ability to support the industry’s growth trajectory.
  • Sustainable Business Model: The financial analysis presented in the study outlines a viable business case for the recommended expansions, suggesting a blend of federal grants and revised usage fees to fund the development without imposing undue financial burdens on launch service providers.

“In response to market demands from the commercial space and maritime sectors and our U.S. military partners, Space Florida spearheaded this study to create a unified path that accounts for the aspirations and missions of both space and port operations,” said Rob Long, president and CEO, Space Florida. “By identifying opportunities for development, we’re not only supporting the immediate needs of the space industry but also making certain Florida leads in the new era of global aerospace commerce. With this feasibility phase we can better understand how to leverage our quintamodal state, that enhances our maritime capabilities while supporting the tremendous growth of commercial space.”

“Port Canaveral has a long history of engagement with our nation’s space program. We have supported the maritime operations of commercial space since its onset in our region nearly ten years ago, and the dynamic growth we’re seeing today is evidence of its success,” said Capt. John Murray, Canaveral Port Authority CEO. “We appreciate Space Florida taking on this study and support the comprehensive effort to address the industry’s growing maritime needs. We look forward to continued collaboration with federal and state partners to realize solutions to ensure the industry’s continued success.”

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is participating in this collaborative effort, looking at potential wharf solutions to support Kennedy’s premier spaceport operations and potentially enabling the continued growth of the space industry.

What’s on the Horizon

  • Obtain stakeholder concurrence from landowners and establish Memorandum of Understanding with action items to guide project implementation.
  • Identify strategic federal funding opportunities to begin near-term and long-term improvements. Estimated total cost (near-term and long-term improvements): $2.1 billion.
  • Work with federal partners to acquire necessary property for construction and identify potential governing and operations entity or entitles.
  • Begin implementation study phase.
  • Conduct a statewide study to determine how other seaports can support the industry.


Media Contact
Alayna Curry, APR
Director of Public Relations

About Space Florida
Space Florida is where leading aerospace companies get everything they need to see their new ideas take off. As the state’s aerospace finance and development authority, Space Florida brings a mix of unrivaled experience, unmatched financial tools, and unbeatable location to the table by providing critical business financing opportunities for the aerospace industry, managing infrastructure investment in the state’s spaceport system, and facilitating research and development, workforce, education, and investment programs.