The governor’s team has met with the companies’ representatives, said Eric Daniels, the California Space Authority’s director of state and local government relations. “We want to find out what they are needing to make California attractive to them,” Daniels said. “At this point we don’t know what is needed. The teams themselves don’t know. It’s early in the process.” Although NASA narrowed the field of competitors down to two teams in June, the agency’s formal call for proposals from the teams won’t come until probably mid-November. NASA is looking to select one team in 2006 to build the craft. Once state officials get a better handle on what the contractors need, they will approach local entities to let them know what will be required to get involved in seeking work. The officials will also have an idea as to state legislation that might be required, Daniels said. In Florida, a similar team has been set up to help make that state more competitive for work on the program. Florida advocates argue that building the crew exploration vehicle in their state makes sense because it will avoid transportation time and costs in shipping it to the Kennedy Space Center. It would also avoid duplication of effort in having the spaceship built by one team and then having a Florida team conduct the final preparation for launch. Jim Skeen, (661) 267-5743 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Similar letters will be sent to the two contractor teams vying for the rights to build the spacecraft. The Antelope Valley Board of Trade has been working with the state’s space advocacy group, the California Space Authority, to try to encourage political leaders to pursue work on the program, which is estimated to cost more than $100 billion. The main focus now is building awareness of the program with political leaders, Hart said. “We became aware that other states are rallying their forces together to get this work,” Hart said. “We have a work force that can take on some of that work.” In August, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered the creation of a high-level team to look for ways to lure to California work on the nation’s next manned spacecraft. That team includes the California Space Authority; the Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency; and the labor and Workforce Development Agency. LANCASTER – As Lockheed Martin and a Northrop Grumman-Boeing team vie to build the nation’s next manned spaceship, Antelope Valley leaders are seeking to bring jobs from the program to California. In a letter to NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, 32 members of the state’s congressional delegation cited California’s past involvement with space exploration, including serving as the site of the construction of the space shuttle fleet. “Today, California continues to offer world-class space manufacturing and testing facilities as well as an experienced work force capable of designing, developing, and manufacturing the CEV (crew exploration vehicle),” the letter states. “We believe that NASA’s utilization of these existing California facilities and trained California work force can result in cost savings on the CEV program and ensure a high level of expertise on a project that requires high levels of exactitude.” Among those signing the letter were Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, whose district includes Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale – a potential work site for the program. Also signing the letter was Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Bakersfield, whose district includes Edwards Air Force Base – a potential landing site for the spacecraft.