Blast off: First South Florida Space Day features aspiring astronauts and innovation

Read the full detail on the First South Florida Space Day which features many aspiring astronauts and innovation.

The first indication that the inaugural South Florida Space Day was about to take place was a group of students from Nova Southeastern University walking around in NASA astronaut spacesuits on a sunny Wednesday.

To plant a flag in the Alan B. Levan-NSU Broward Center of Innovation, NSU officials, including Broward County Mayor Michael Udine, as well as a number of guests and officials from NSU, donned astronaut bomber jackets. Udine made October 12 South Florida Space Day, a significant occasion that had been planned for six years prior to the launch.

Blast off: First South Florida Space Day features aspiring astronauts and innovation
Blast off: First South Florida Space Day features aspiring astronauts and innovation

The Levan Center of Innovation is a public-private partnership between NSU and Broward County. It is located on the fifth floor of the Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center and occupies 54,000 square feet.

The center, which emphasizes entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology, has been described as the world’s first “theme park for entrepreneurs.”The celebrations for Space Day included keynote speakers, a business expo, and seminars on those three topics.

According to NSU Chief Innovation Officer John Wensveen, space is now referred to as a sector or destination rather than an industry due to the privatization and commercialization of companies working on space technology. He emphasized the significance of Space Day in connecting international space companies to South Florida.

The university’s Space Dock program is the first space partnership program designed to support entrepreneurs and founders of space technology businesses at every stage.

Wensveen stated, “The idea here is that we can build that right here in our region, and then link that to the Florida Space Coast, national and international space systems.” To support these new space initiatives, “the concept here is that with a slight pivot of their business, or creating new entrepreneurs to support these new space initiatives that didn’t exist.”

BiFarm Tech is one of the businesses that the Levan Center is growing. BiFarm has started working on technology that would make it possible for food to grow in space.

Aisha Bowe, the keynote speaker and a former rocket scientist at NASA, stressed the importance of encouraging attendees of Space Day to pursue their interest in space in ways that benefit the entire South Florida community.

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According to Bowe, “I started talking to some of the leading experts in the world, and the things that were science fiction became science facts on a daily basis.”As a result, as you participate today, I would like to challenge you to consider what you will create and what you will contribute.


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