MOJAVE, Calif. (MASP PR) — A new Chief Executive Officer will take the controls of the Mojave Air and Spaceport (MASP) in April.
Todd Lindner, former Director of the Jacksonville, Florida, Aviation Authority’s Cecil Spaceport , was selected by members of the Mojave Air and Spaceport board of directors from more than 100 applications.
A veteran pilot, Lindner will be the first person with airport management experience to manage the Mojave Air and Spaceport.
“With 30 years of aviation management experience, Todd Lindner understands the unique financial and operating requirements of an air and spaceport,” said Jim Balentine, president of the MASP board of directors.
The Jacksonville Aviation Authority has received an $1.8 million matching grant from Space Florida to fund the design and construction of a space operations center, payload preparation facility and rocket motor test facility at Cecil Spaceport, the Jacksonville Daily Recordreports.
Space Florida, which is the state’s space promotional agency, approved the funding at a board meeting in June.
Cecil Airport is a public joint civil-military airport and spaceport. It was a naval air station from 1941 until 1999.
The second day of the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference took place in Colorado on Friday. Although I wasn’t able to attend, I have compiled highlights via Twitter posts. (You can follow along with hashtag #nsrc2016.)
Below is a summary of updates that cover Sierra Nevada Corporation, Cecil Airport, Spaceport Colorado, FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation, World View Enterprises, NASA Flight Opportunities Program.
There was a presentation by Charles Walker, who was the first person to perform commercial experiments in space as a payload specialist on three space shuttle missions.
A separate panel discussion on human-tended space research reached the unsurprising consensus that government should lift its ban on sending scientists into space with their experiments.
Cecil Airport in Jacksonville now has a tenant and a large state grant to help develop its spaceport operations:
JAA will match the $1.8 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation and Space Florida, the state organization responsible for fostering growth in Florida’s space industry. The final cost of the hangar could be more than $4 million and will be completed by early 2015, according to Todd Lindner, JAA’s senior manager of aviation planning and spaceport development.
Meanwhile, Generation Orbit Launch Services Inc., the spaceport’s first tenant, is preparing for two test launches next year off Cecil’s runway in ahead of its first commercial launch in 2016.
The Atlanta-based company specializes in launching “micro” and “nano” satellites — which in some cases are small enough to hold in your hand — from a rocket attached to an airplane that takes off and lands on runways like passenger jets. That so-called “horizontal” launch method is less expensive than its traditional “vertical” counterpart….
“There are a large number of entities that have wanted access to lower orbit and zero gravity for initiatives like communications,” said Michael Stewart, JAA’s external affairs director. “The great thing about this industry besides the fact that it’s embryonic and it’s still developing right before our eyes is that it’s a proven technology.”
The Jacksonville Aviation Authority is asking the state of Florida to help fund infrastructure improvements at Cecil Airport to support the operations of micro-sat launch provider that will operate from there.
Generation Orbit Launch Services Inc. has selected Jacksonville’s Cecil Spaceport as the primary launch site for its small satellite transport operation.
The company plans to put small satellites into space by launching a rocket from an in-flight aircraft. The micro-satellites would support low gravity, astrophysics and hypersonic research at a fraction of the cost of full-size satellites.
On Sept. 30, NASA awarded the Atlanta-based company its first contract. Under it, Generation Orbit will launch at least two test flights next year and a conduct a full satellite launch in 2016.
State funding requested by the JAA would be used to connect the proposed spaceport site with taxiways and roads, authority spokesman Michael Stewart said.
Generation Orbit is the first space company to locate at the airport, which received its spaceport designation three years ago. Cecil Airport is a former Naval Air Station that has been converted into a joint civilian-military facility.