Monday, July 27, 2015

The Federal Aviation Administration Approves 10th Spaceport in Texas

Houston Business Journal“Prepare for liftoff: Houston approved for spaceport”
By Olivia Pulsinelli – June 30, 2015

“The Federal Aviation Administration granted a launch site license to make Ellington Airport the 10th commercial spaceport in the U.S., the Houston Airport System announced June 30.

Now, HAS can turn its attention to establishing the required infrastructure and support facilities needed to accommodate reusable launch vehicles, which will launch horizontally like commercial aircraft, rather than vertically.

The spaceport could be used to launch micro satellites, train astronauts, conduct zero-gravity experiments, manufacture spacecraft and other potential activities, HAS said.”

“HAS started aggressively moving forward with its spaceport plans two years ago, when the Houston City Council approved a $718,000 contract for a consulting firm to study how Ellington Airport can obtain a spaceport launch site operator’s license. However, HAS has looked into developing a spaceport in Houston since early 2011.

“Houston will play a lead role in commercial space operations in the 21st century,” Houston Mayor Annise Parker said in a statement. “We believe a licensed spaceport in Houston will not only serve as an economic generator for the city but also enhance Houston’s well-deserved reputation as a leader and key player in the aerospace industry.”

Meanwhile, NASA's Johnson Space Center also plans to have a significant role in the future of commercial spaceflight, JSC Deputy Director Kirk Shireman told the Houston Business Journal recently.”

Do you know the locations of all the Spaceports? The list might surprise you:
  • (1) Florida – Spaceport Florida, Cape Canaveral
  • (2) Florida – Cecil Field Spaceport, Jacksonville
  • (3) Virginia – Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, Wallops Island
  • (4) New Mexico – Spaceport America, White Sands
  • (5) Oklahoma Spaceport
  • (6) Mojave Air and Space Port
  • (7) California – California Spaceport, Vandenberg Air Force Base
  • (8) Wyoming – Chugwater Spaceport
  • (9) Alaska – Kodiak Launch Complex
  • (10) Texas – Houston Spaceport, Houston
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