At a press conference Wednesday afternoon at the Johnson Space Center, Houston Airport Director Mario Diaz unveiled preliminary plans and conceptual drawings for a spaceport at Ellington Airport.
“This is a new and exciting sector of the 21st Century economy that carries amazing potential for growth,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “We believe a licensed Spaceport in Houston would not only serve as an economic generator for the city but it would also enhance Houston's well-deserved reputation as a leader and key player in the aerospace industry.”
In attendance were also included key players in the aerospace industry who were in Houston for the annual meeting of the Commercial Space Federation in the Clear Lake area. Following the press conference, leaders of the CSF held a panel discussion
The Houston City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to undertake the pursuit of Spaceport licensing at Ellington Airport on July 17, 2013. Mr. Diaz stated that there are already 8 spaceports in the USA.
It is important to realize tat this type of work is already taking place today. This is not a conversation based on science fiction or futuristic projections. This is a conversation about how Houston can access and enhance an industry that is already well-established and growing exponentially. “ said Diaz
He mentioned that there are already 8 licensed spaceports in the USA. The FAA has licensed the most recent commercial spaceport in 2006.
They based on information provided by Wikipedia, they include:
1. Cape Canaveral Station/Kennedy Space Center, best known for the launch of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo Space missions
2. Edwards Air force Base near Lancaster, CA
3.Spaceport America (formerly known as Southwest Regional Spaceport, the Jornada del Muerto desert basin in New Mexico, United States just west of the White Sands Missile Range.
4.Cecil Airport in Jacksonville http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_Airport near Jacksonville, Florida
5.The Kodiak Launch Complex on Kodiak Island, Alaska
Kodiak Launch Complex on Kodiak Island, Alaska
6.Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, a commercial space launch facility located at the southern tip of NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on the Delmarva Peninsula south of Chincoteague, Virginia
7.The Clinton-Sherman Industrial Airpark, also known as the Oklahoma Spaceport is a newly authorized spaceport near Burns Flat, Oklahoma, in the western part of the state. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted a license to the site in June 2006 to the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority (OSIDA) to "oversee the takeoff and landing of suborbital, reusable launch vehicles". The license expires in five years and requires regular safety inspections by the FAA. Individual operators must also secure a separate license in order to make space flights from the facility.
8. Corn Ranch is a spaceport in the West Texas town of Van Horn, Texas, where flight tests of the New Shepard are carried out by Blue Origin. The 165,000-acre (670 km²) land parcel was purchased by Internet billionaire Jeff Bezos. The first flight test took place on November 13, 2006 with the goal of providing commercial tourist flights.
Members of the media were treated to several short video clips and presentations by Mr. Diaz and Arturo Machuca.
Renderings unveiled at the Space Center may be viewed on-line at http://www.fly2houston.com/Newsroom