NSRC Day 2 Summary

SNC technicians inspect the Dream Chaser ETA. (Credit: SNC)
SNC technicians inspect the Dream Chaser ETA. (Credit: SNC)

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.

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Spaceport Colorado Prepares to Submit Application to FAA

Front_Range_AirportWATKINS, Colo. (Spaceport Colorado PR) — Adams County, Front Range Airport–Spaceport Colorado, is in the final stages of the Spaceport License submission process. The Spaceport Colorado team is completing its final review of the License Application and Environmental Assessment documents and expects to submit both final documents to the FAA Office of Commercial Space (AST) later this month.

Spaceport Colorado is also working closely with the local and regional offices of the FAA Air Traffic Control Organization to establish an effective Letter of Agreement (LOA) for spacecraft horizontal launch operations at the Spaceport. This process has been challenging due to the proximity of Denver International Airport but the team also expects to have the draft LOA approved by ATC and ready for submission to AST later this month.

Submission this month will mean that Spaceport Colorado could receive its license and be open for business as early as the second quarter of 2016. Spaceport Colorado will provide access to space for the hundreds of aerospace and commercial space companies and research institutions that call Colorado’s Front Range home.

ISPCS Day One Review & a Mojave Engine Test

Credit: Robin Snelson
Credit: Robin Snelson

Greetings from Mojave.  I had hoped to be greeting you from Las Cruces from the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS — pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Is-pic-us). But, my plans to leave one desert town to travel across vast stretches of desert to a larger desert town didn’t work out this year. (I don’t know why; it sounded like so much fun.)

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Swiss Space Systems to Locate Office at Front Range Airport

Front_Range_AirportSwiss Space Systems will base its North American headquarters at Front Range Airport outside of Denver after signing a memorandum of understanding with Spaceport Colorado last month:

Spaceport Colorado is a statewide initiative to create an aerospace hub at Front Range Airport in Adams County that is designed to attract high-tech research, commercial space development and eventually the creation of a horizontal launch pad for space transport.

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