Why Volusia County? A Q&A with Senator Tom A. Wright

What are your first memories of space travel and launches? 

I am old enough to be have been alive when John Glenn was the first man sent into orbit. I remember reading in the school paper about monkeys that were being blasted into space and then returned to see if there were any issues for life and health, before we sent any humans.

How large a business impact do you think Volusia County can have on the Space Coast economy?

The impact by Volusia County is real, and unlimited! Out of our 67 counties in Florida, there are businesses that supply the space related business, in every county. In the Legislature we are pushing for more STEM Education support, as the space related companies are looking for employees that can fill the 100s of thousands of jobs being created from now until 2030.

How will Volusia County impact the new space industry landscape?

Volusia County, especially the southern areas, is ripe for development to support the space Industry. When you consider that the only logical way to grow the landscape for the space Industry is to the North, and Volusia is there!

What makes Volusia County competitive for the space industry?

As the realtors say, “location, location, location.” Think about the wonderful weather, the location with major interstate highways, the very large sea port, several airports, plus the best state in the U.S. for the employees to live, work, and play!!!

What is your vision for Volusia County’s role in the space industry over the next 20 years?

To realize the importance of the World’s Spaceport here in our state, and in our area. The future is space, and other states want a spaceport to be located in their states. So, I say to those that do not like “change,” please rethink those thoughts, or we will end up being like small town America in coming years, wishing we had done a better job of attracting and keeping high paying jobs.

If you could go to space next year, would you go?

When I was a teenager and was asked what I wanted to be someday, the normal answers from others were doctor, lawyer, fireman, etc. I said an astronaut!

However, as I have gotten older, I do not like small spaces, and probably would not be a good passenger in a capsule. I did obtain my private pilot license.

Space offers unlimited opportunities for our future as a county, a state, a country, and for the human race. The list is too long to put here of all the things we can and will do. And I am confident the list will grow as we learn new things from space exploration; things we do not even know about today.