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1. Gas prices likely to stay steady in 2020

For many American motorists, $3-agallon gasoline is becoming a distant memory.

Americans are likely to pay an average of $2.60 a gallon in 2020, according to fuel savings app GasBuddy’s annual forecast.

On the whole, drivers haven’t paid more than $3 nationwide since 2014, when prices averaged $3.36, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Prices along the West Coast and in Hawaii have skewed higher.

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“It’s another good year for Americans to pump,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “I would not expect the national average this year to hit $3.”

The highest national average price of gas was $4.11 on July 17, 2008, according to AAA.

The main reason the average cost of gas has stayed lower than $3 is the nation’s oil boom, coupled with increases in output in other countries.

2. FSW will host water certification classes

Florida Southwestern State College is starting off 2020 with a new focus on water.

Starting in mid-January, the college will offer two introductory courses — one focused on waste water, the other on drinking water — to help students prepare for state licensure exams.

Both will be taught at the college’s Corporate Training Center in Bonita Springs.

A waste water course starts Jan. 13, with the drinking water course starting Jan. 15. Each costs $700 and will amount to 108 class hours that will be clocked in twice a week meetings during an 18-week period.

The only requirement is that students have either a high school diploma or its equivalent.

The Bonita training center is at 27400 Riverview Center Blvd. Call 239-405-8467 or send an email to corporate.training@fsw.edu for more information.

3. Year looks promising for Cape Canaveral launches

Predicting the number of launches for an upcoming year is tricky business. Case in point: the Space Coast in 2019 was slated to host many more liftoffs than the 16 it actually saw, according to Air Force estimates established early in the year.

The culprits, which are typically unique to launch vehicles and missions, ranged from mishaps to slow crawling hurricanes to general delays. But 2020 should still be a banner year for the Eastern Range, which encompasses Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Space Coast-hosted science launches will play significant roles in 2020, thanks in large part to two missions: Solar Orbiter and Mars 2020. Also, SpaceX is scheduled to launch two cargo-only Dragon spacecraft packed with science experiments and cargo to the ISS.

Finally, SpaceX is expected to have its manifest packed with communications missions, primarily for its in-house Starlink communications constellation. With two planned in January alone, the company is rapidly moving toward having hundreds — and soon, thousands — of the spacecraft on orbit, beaming internet connectivity down to the ground.

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