Midland Hires Consultant to Rethink Spaceport

With two key tenants — XCOR and Orbital Outfitters — out of business, the Midland Development Corporation has hired Interflight Global to advise it on the next steps for Midland’s spaceport.

It’s a move that City Councilman J. Ross Lacy, who also serves as the President for the Midland Spaceport Development Corporation, thinks is a step in the right direction.

“As we continue to move forward and we see the space industry transform, we needed to bring in Oscar and his group to really help us move forward, and, in some of the areas that we are going to be pursuing, it’s critical to have his expertise as we move into a new chapter for the Spaceport in Midland,” Lacy said.

As far as what the consulting firm will specifically address, MDC chairman Brent Hilliard explained “that contract is just to help us write a business plan for the space port.”

As a more clear business direction is carved out for the space port, the MDC will look to fill out the hangars and buildings that have already been built in the space port’s business park, as the park’s former tenants no longer occupy the space.

Read the full story.

  • MzUnGu

    Oscar Garcia:
    “The name’s Oscar, Oscar Garcia. And I come before you good people tonight with an idea. Probably the greatest—Aw, it’s not for you. It’s more a Shelbyville idea.”

    “Now, wait just a minute. We’re twice as smart as the people of Shelbyville. Just tell us your idea and we’ll vote for it.”

    Oscar Garcia:
    “All right. I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll show you my idea. I give you the Midland Monorail.”

    “Monorail! Monorail! Monorail!…”

  • Michael Halpern

    I am assuming that dot in the logo is the location of their spaceport. If so there’s their problem, you should at least have river access if not an outright coast, unless the tenants have small enough vehicles, build it there or build a specialized air transporter (or modify an existing aircraft into one ala Shuttle) they are going to have a hard time getting their hardware to the location, Falcon 9 cores are the size they are to fit on the national highway system without being considered oversized loads just extra long loads, not sure how ULA handles delivering rockets to the pads, but New Glenn will be built near Cape Canaveral and if they decide they want a west coast pad they have reasonable water access to handle it, and the BFR factory is being built on a coastal site to address transportation.

  • ThomasLMatula

    I wonder what the odds are the consultants will be honest and tell them there is no business model for their spaceport? There never was?

  • Michael Halpern

    Well if there is, it’s almost exclusively small launchers, and maybe sub orbital boosters, this is also why I think so long as international infrastructure to support it gets in place, rocket P2P will compliment low boom super sonic aircraft, rather than compete, BFR can’t easily get far inland, but super sonic aircraft eat up loads of fuel for available tanks, and can’t carry as many as easily, BFR does intercontinental, super sonic does long distance inland.

    As for the consultants, they might not, depends on their reputation and other customers, after all longer they are consulting and the better news they give them the more they get paid but if they have a good reputation and are building on it they may be honest as that will make them more valuable to other companies.

  • ThomasLMatula

    But what is the advantage Midland has over Ellington or Mojave? They are surrounded by oil fields and have housing developments under the approach and departure paths. Also the endangered Sage Grouse habitat makes it difficult to go supersonic in the area.

    I never understood why XCOR moved there from Mojave. Really that and it’s deal with Spaceport Florida really help to kill it.

    At this stage in the space industry it makes about as much sense to put a spaceport there as Spaceport Oklahoma or the one in Colorado by the front range.

  • Michael Halpern

    There isn’t except maybe tax advantage but that isn’t enough to justify it. Might work as a engine and hold down testing facility, like SpaceX’s McGregor facility but that’s about it

  • duheagle

    There are inland waterway connections between Decatur, AL and the Cape. ULA’s rockets all start out traveling via water. The ones launched from Vandy travel farther on bigger boats.

  • Michael Halpern

    Figured as much, SpaceX can only get away with using the highway system because of newer materials enabling such a high hieght to diameter ratio, still it’s one of the most important things for a spaceport to have if it’s going to be successful, a way to get the rockets to the site, without that being easily addressed, it’s not a good site

  • Zed_WEASEL

    Rick Perry and TX freebie money.

    But XCOR’s main problem is their spaceplane or rather the lack of capital to realized it. Which was why the freebie TX money enticed their fatal relocation to TX.