On Wednesday, Nov. 16, the University of North Georgia welcomed State Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, to speak to students about a proposed spaceport in southeast Georgia.
Professor Jeff Turk, director of the Institute for Environmental and Spatial Analysis and Engineering Club adviser, invited Spencer to talk to club members about the importance of having an aerospace center in Georgia.
Spencer was born on Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. His military family settled in Georgia in 1978. After graduating from UGA, Spencer became a physician assistant. He moved to Camden County in 2005; in 2010, he was elected as the representative for the 180th House District.
His role on the House Science and Technology Subcommittee on Commercial Space is what brought him to UNG.
The Georgia House of Representatives is considering a bill that would pave the way for a spaceport in Camden, Georgia. Spencer is the bill’s biggest advocate.
“This is going to be huge for Georgia,” Spencer said. “It is going to have a great bearing on all of you, and that includes all the students in the College of Science and Mathematics.”
Spencer told the students how important this bill will be to their lives and future careers in science, technology and engineering.
“This is a project that’s going to have an impact on Georgia for many years to come,” Spencer said.
According to Jason Spencer’s official website, Georgia’s aerospace industry boasts more than 800 companies and 88,000 workers. In the 1960s, the world’s largest engine rocket was tested in Camden County.
Camden County is a coastal county, so the spaceport will have launch capability over the water, an ideal location for rocket launches and tests.
Spencer said the spaceport would create manufacturing jobs and stimulate the economy. Spaceport Camden could also impact Georgia’s tourist industry.
“This spaceport can bring in high-paying jobs on every spectrum of the industry, and it can generate a significant amount of tourism,” Spencer said.
Stay tuned: If the bill passes, Georgia could have a front-row seat to the next phase of space exploration.