According to the Orlando Sentinel, the NASA authorization bill to be introduced by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who chairs Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation science and space subcommittee, has raised concerns along Florida’s space coast about jobs. The bill would direct NASA to develop a heavy-lift rocket and the Orion crew capsule while deferring plans to fund development of commercial crew taxi services to low Earth orbit.

“Of particular concern is the fact that Nelson — Florida’s main space supporter — would take away billions of dollars from commercial rocket and technology development that over the next decade would have diversified the aerospace industry in Florida and provided KSC with new jobs and prestige.”

Apparently, at least some space coast leaders have bought into the idea that the commercial spaceflight industry and NASA’s associated plan to develop so-called game changing technologies for deep space exploration represent the area’s best bet for replacing the jobs to be lost when the space shuttle retires next year.