Houston Approves $18.8 Million for Ellington Spaceport Program

Artist’s impression of future Ellington spaceport. (Credit: Houston Airport System)

The Houston City Council has approved $18.8 million for the first phase of an ambitious effort to develop a spaceport at Ellington Airport.

The funding will pay for the construction of basic spaceport infrastructure, including streets, water, wastewater, electrical power distribution facilities, and communications facilities, according to the City Council agenda.

The council awarded the contract for the improvements, which are designed to help attract potential users of the spaceport, to Texas Sterling-Banicki, JV LLC.

Houston Spaceport is being designed to support the launch of suborbital, reusable vehicles. Officials have also opened the Houston Aerospace Support Center (HASC), which offers 53,000 square feet of laboratory office and technology incubator space and hardware production facilities.

Houston Spaceport Advances With Building Purchase

Artist's rendition of Ellington Spaceport includes two Virgin Galactic WhiteKnightTwo/SpaceShipTwo combinations, Orbital ATK's Stargazer air-launch plane, and a futuristic looking point-to-point aircraft. (Credit: Houston Airport System)
Artist’s rendition of Ellington Spaceport includes two Virgin Galactic WhiteKnightTwo/SpaceShipTwo combinations, Orbital ATK’s Stargazer air-launch plane, and a futuristic looking point-to-point aircraft. (Credit: Houston Airport System)

HOUSTON, Nov. 10, 2015  (HAS PR) — The Houston Airport System completed an important step in the functional launch of the Houston Spaceport on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, when Houston City Council members approved the $6.9 million purchase of an aerospace engineering building and land adjacent to Ellington Airport.

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NASA Signs Cooperative Agreement for Ellington Spaceport

Artist's rendition of Ellington Spaceport includes two Virgin Galactic WhiteKnightTwo/SpaceShipTwo combinations, Orbital ATK's Stargazer air-launch plane, and a futuristic looking point-to-point aircraft. (Credit: Houston Airport System)
Artist’s rendition of Ellington Spaceport includes two Virgin Galactic WhiteKnightTwo/SpaceShipTwo combinations, Orbital ATK’s Stargazer air-launch plane, and a futuristic looking point-to-point aircraft. (Credit: Houston Airport System)

HOUSTON (HAS PR) — The Houston Airport System (HAS) and NASA have entered into an agreement today that will allow the new commercial spaceport developing at Ellington Airport (EFD) to tap into the federal space agency’s assets and expertise, expanding the possibilities for the growing commercial spaceflight industry.

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Houston Spaceport Plan Moves Forward

Ellington_spaceport_1
HOUSTON, Oct. 7, 2015 (HAS PR) — An important step in the functional launch of the Houston Spaceport was taken on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, when Houston City Council members approved the $6.9 million purchase of an aerospace engineering building and land adjacent to Ellington Airport (EFD).

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Ellington Airport Becomes 10th FAA Licensed Spaceport

Artist's rendition of Ellington Spaceport includes two Virgin Galactic WhiteKnightTwo/SpaceShipTwo combinations, Orbital ATK's Stargazer air-launch plane, and a futuristic looking point-to-point aircraft. (Credit: Houston Airport System)
Artist’s rendition of Ellington Spaceport includes two Virgin Galactic WhiteKnightTwo/SpaceShipTwo combinations, Orbital ATK’s Stargazer air-launch plane, and a futuristic looking point-to-point aircraft. (Credit: Houston Airport System)

HOUSTON, June 30, 2015 (HAS PR) — The Houston Airport System (HAS) has been granted a Launch Site License from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that enables Ellington Airport (EFD) to establish itself as a launch site for Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLV), making it the 10th commercial spaceport in the United States.

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Satellite Applications Catapult Signs MOU for Houston Spaceport

EllingtonAirportHoustonHARWELL, England (Satellite Applications Catapult PR) — The Satellite Applications Catapult signed a Memorandum of Understanding today with the City of Houston Airport System and the Houston Spaceport to become the first international partner for the city’s commercial spaceport. The MOU states a partnership between the two organisations and the intention to work together in the future.

The announcement was made today as part of a public event where Houston Mayor Annise Parker also announced the creation of a new commercial spaceport in Houston. Representatives from the UK Satellite Applications Catapult, the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA Johnson Space Center, and the Rice Space Institute were all present during the event.

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Sierra Nevada Corporation and Houston Airport System Announce New Agreement

Dream Chaser landing at Ellington Field. (Cedit: SNC)
Dream Chaser landing at Ellington Field. (Cedit: SNC)

SPARKS, Nev. (March 24, 2015) – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems and the Houston Airport System (HAS) announce a new follow-on agreement to utilize Ellington Airport’s Spaceport as a future landing site for SNC’s Uncrewed Dream Chaser® spacecraft – SNC’s solution for NASA’s Cargo Resupply needs and other critical space operations.

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Sierra Nevada Exploring Cooperation With Proposed Houston Spaceport

Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)
Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)

Houston Airport System and Sierra Nevada Corporation
to Host Media Panel at Rice University – Space Institute

WHAT:
Houston Airport System (HAS) and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) will host a joint news conference to provide an update on plans to support the Houston Space Port. Media will have the opportunity to speak with HAS officials and SNC’s Dream Chaser® senior leadership, and learn about the potential benefits of any future partnership between HAS and SNC. The Dream Chaser spacecraft has the capability of landing on commercial runways virtually anywhere in the world.

WHEN:
Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 2 p.m. CDT

WHERE:
Rice University – Space Institute, Weiss School of Natural Sciences
Weiss School of Natural Sciences, 6100 Main St., Houston, Texas 77005

WHO:

  • Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president and head of SNC’s Space Systems
  • Mario Diaz, Aviation director for Houston Airport System
  • Arturo Machuca, manager business development of Houston Airport System
  • Dr. David Alexander, director of the Rice Space Institute

WHY:
HAS and SNC are forming a committee to explore the possibilities associated with the Houston/Ellington Space Port. As plans for the Houston Space Port continue to take shape, identifying required facilities or capabilities to service commercial space vehicles is essential. This location is well placed to service the Houston business, science and research community, including continuing support for the International Space Station and new commercial space enterprise.

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Spaceports, Spaceports Everywhere…and Very Little to Launch

 Sunset at the "Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space" terminal hangar facility at Spaceport America. (Credit: Bill Gutman/Spaceport America)

Sunset at the “Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space” terminal hangar facility at Spaceport America. (Credit: Bill Gutman/Spaceport America)

The latest spaceport news from around the country:

Sante Fe, N.M. —  The state Board of Finance unanimously approved the New Mexico Spaceport Authority’s (NMSA) plan to seek a $20 million private loan to build Spaceport America visitor centers outside the towns of Hatch and Truth or Consequences. NMSA officials say they will pay the 21-year loan back with revenues from the centers, although some Board of Finance members questioned NMSA’s financial assumptions. The loan is in addition to the $209 million that taxpayers have spent on Spaceport America. [Albuquerque Journal]

Houston — Houston City Council has approved a 3-year consulting contract worth $718,900 to begin work on obtaining an FAA spaceport license for city-run Ellington Airport. The decision followed a presentation on how the airport and city are well suited to host horizontally launched space vehicles. A study found that equipping the airport for space operations would cost between $48 million and $122 million. [Houston Chronicle]

Titusville, Fla. — The Titusville Cocoa (TICO) Airport Authority has begun efforts to obtain an FAA spaceport license for the coastal facility. The move comes after Rocket Crafters agreed to relocate to the airport to develop a point-to-point vehicle. The company is expected to invest $72 million at the airport. [Florida SPACErePORT]