Central Florida 100: Thanks to the helpers at Christmas
Gloria Pickar, President Emeritus of the League of Women Voters of Orange County
Last week: HOLIDAY HAVOC: For the past two years we have been aspiring to get up and go and have planned to take the roads, seas and air for the holidays. Omicron thwarted these plans for many. COVID infections in Florida soared to 46,923 new cases on Tuesday alone, a daily record. Hospitalizations are on the rise. COVID deaths in the United States have passed 821,000. People wait in long lines for COVID tests as pharmacies sell tests at home. Airlines have canceled more than 1,100 flights, citing staff shortages linked to COVID, stranding travelers at crowded airports. Infected cruisers were confined to their cabins and tours were canceled as ports of call refused to dock. It was very preventable!
Looking forward: SPACE COAST EXPANSION: Here’s good news to start 2022. Cape Canaveral, the Kennedy Space Center, NASA and the US Space Force are gearing up to increase their activities. More and more rocket companies are arriving on the Space Coast as early as January. With a business plan to give customers a much lower cost, Astra will launch small rockets just 38 feet tall to deliver 331 pound payloads like satellites to track hurricanes. Using 3D printers, Relativity Space plans to build mid-size rockets that are 80 feet tall in 30 days, capable of carrying 2,750 pounds. By adding them to SpaceX, United Launch Alliance, and Blue Origin, the Space Coast could one day see multiple launches per day.