Cecil Field Could Get Additional Public Funds for Space Tourism Development

Cecil Field in Jacksonville.

The Jacksonville Daily record reports that the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization is considered a move to formally support the development of space tourism at Cecil Field in Jacksonville:

If it meets eligibility requirements, the backing would mean the transportation projects associated with the development could receive North Florida TPO allocated dollars.

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FAA Awards Space Transport Grants for Spaceport America, Mojave, Cecil Field and Alaska

Cecil Field in Jacksonville, recently designated a commercial spaceport.

FAA PRESS RELEASE

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a new grant program designed to fund projects that develop and expand commercial space transportation infrastructure.  The Space Transportation Infrastructure Matching Grants will be awarded to four separate projects located in Alaska, California, Florida, and New Mexico.

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Rocketplane Global Expects to Begin Suborbital Space Tourist Flights in 2013

Rocketplane Global Vice President Chuck Lauer said today that the company expects to begin flying space tourists on suborbital rides out of Cecil Field in Jacksonville by 2013. Rocketplane has signed a letter of intent with the Jacksonville Aviation Authority to become the first commercial space operator to use the former Naval air base turned spaceport, Lauer told attendees at Space Access ’10 in Phoenix.

Lauer  said that that Rocketplane would fund development of its six-person space plane as part of a $300 million project that would also create a Spaceport Visitor’s Center at the Jacksonville site. The center would include full motion 3D/HD suborbital flight simulators that would allow visitors to experience a 4-minute version of the 45-minute spaceflight that well-heeled passengers will fly aboard Rocketplane’s suborbital vehicle.

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FAA Approves Cecil Field for Space Tourism

cecilfield_imgFAA approves Cecil for commercial spaceport
Jacksonville Journal

The Federal Aviation Administration has approved Cecil Field to be used as a commercial spaceport, and the field’s license is pending, Jacksonville International Airport spokesman Michael Stewart said Wednesday.

He showed photos for two vehicles that could take off from the runway and rocket to the edge of earth’s atmosphere – high enough for passengers to see the curvature of the Earth and experience weightlessness. One design was based on a private jet; the other, still in development, would glide back to Earth, he said.

Read the full story.

Editor’s Note: Jacksonville officials have been courting Rocketplane Global, although that company’s vehicle remains largely in the computer with more than $100 million required to get to a test flight. Rocketplane laid off most of its staff earlier this year and moved out of its headquarters in Oklahoma due to financial difficulties.

I’m not sure of the identity of the other company mentioned in the story. Anyone know?

Jacksonville Makes Progress Toward Space Tourism Flights

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JAA Looking Toward Space
Financial News and Daily Record

By the end of the year, the Aviation Authority expects to get word from the Federal Aviation Administration that it’s time to look beyond the boundaries of gravity. The FAA is currently in the final stages of reviewing the JAA’s application for Cecil Field to become a Certified Space Port.

“We are not there, but we are close,” said Michael Stewart, director of external affairs for JAA.

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Residents on Cecil Field Spaceport: We’re Jiggy With It

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JAA said Thursday’s meeting was another step in the process of bringing commercial space flights to Cecil Field. Officials were able to get input from the public, much of which was opposed plans to bring the Navy back to Cecil Field a few years ago.

However, residents who live nearby showed up at the meeting with a different perspective on Cecil Field becoming a spaceport.

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