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Next in space: Future to include more space travel for Americans, astronauts wanted

What’s next in space for the U.S.?

Well, it’s been nearly a decade since an American-made spacecraft went into orbit, as the space shuttle program shut down in July 2011.

The future will certainly include more space travel, much of it originating in Florida.

“We’re actually creating an entirely new process using 3-D printing to build the whole thing,” said Relativity Space CEO Tim Ellis, “which is how we think the future is going to be.”

The president wants us back on the moon by 2024 and on Mars by the mid-2030s. That’s welcome news to Janet Petro, who oversaw her first launch of the shuttle Atlantis back in 2007, in her new role as Kennedy Space Center Deputy Director.

“Being three miles from the launch pad, watching it go up and feeling the vibrations and the excitement in the room…it was just really incredible to be there,” she said.

Now, she looks forward to more missions.

“This year, 2020, is a big year for us. We are going to be launching American astronauts, once again, from American soil,” she said.

Colonel Terry Virts always dreamed of being an astronaut. He got to travel into space twice.

“If the HR lady calls you, you didn’t get picked, and if the chief astronaut calls you, you got picked,” Virts said.

He says he looks forward to Americans going back.

“Hopefully again, we can get things going so we are not just going to Earth orbit, we are going beyond,” he said.

Now, the future looks brighter with private companies like Space-X, Blue Origin and Relativity Space in the game.

“It’s going to be a pretty exciting future,” Ellis said. A future that could land you in space. NASA is accepting astronaut applications.

When that shuttle program ended, 8,000 space jobs immediately ended too. With the resurgence in space flight, those jobs, plus many more are back. A representative from Space Florida says there are space jobs in every one of the state’s counties.

Reporter:Rich Kolko
Writer:Briana Harvath
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