Tag: spaceports

State Senate Committee Supports Camden County Spaceport Legislation

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spaceport_camden_logoSome good news for supporters of a spaceport in Camden County, Georgia.

The Senate Study Committee on the Camden County spaceport is recommending passage of legislation “that sends a clear signal to the commercial space industry that Georgia is open for business.”

The committee held three meetings before announcing its recommendation Thursday, including one in Camden County, where it heard testimony from supporters and opponents of the Georgia Space Flight Act.

The legislation requires companies in the business of launching rockets in Georgia to train their employees so they understand the risks associated with space flight. Basically, workers in the space flight industry in Georgia will waive the right to sue the companies they work for unless gross negligence can be proven.

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Virgin Galactic, ALTEC Sign MOU to Study Italian Spaceport

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SpaceShipTwo glides over the Mojave Desert after being released from its WhiteKnightTwo mother ship. (Credit; Virgin Galactic)

SpaceShipTwo glides over the Mojave Desert after being released from its WhiteKnightTwo mother ship. (Credit; Virgin Galactic)

ROME (ASI PR)– ALTEC S.p.A., the Italian engineering and logistics service provider for the International Space Station, and Virgin Galactic LLC, the US spaceflight company within the Virgin Group, announced the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed to study experimental sub-orbital spaceflight in Italy.

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Obama Signs Law to Prevent Encroachments on Nation’s Spaceports

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President Barack Obama has signed into law a measure that will help the nation’s growing legion of spaceports fight the encroachment of obstacles such as transmission lines that could endanger suborbital spacecraft.

The measure, sponsored by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), was inspired by a problem experienced by the Mojave Air and Space Port, which is in the Congressman’s district. A utility company built extra tall transmission towers near the airport, sparking safety concerns among officials there.

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GAO: Spaceport Operators Confused Over Insurance Requirements

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A Government Accountability Office (GAO) review has found that the nation’s spaceport operators are confused about the insurance they should have for launch accidents.

“Specifically, several spaceport operators GAO interviewed said that, based on their interpretation of the financial responsibility regulations, they were unsure whether their property would be covered under a launch company’s insurance policy or whether they would need to purchase their own insurance for their property to be covered,” the report states.

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Camden County JDA Approves $750K for Spaceport

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spaceport_camden_logoThe Camden County Joint Development Authority voted last week to provide $750,000 for the establishment of a spaceport in Georgia.

Before the vote, authority chairman Charlie Smith told members they had an obligation to approve the funding request from the Camden County Commission.

“Refusal would be a slap in the face of the people who are funding us,” Smith said. “It would be a tragedy for us not to abide by the county commission’s request.”

Earlier in the meeting, the board allowed county resident and vocal spaceport critic Steve Weinkle to speak. He said the commissioners’ request for JDA funding was “distressing,” but not surprising. It is an indication the county did a poor job planning, he said.

The county has already spent about $3 million to establish a spaceport and Weinkle predicted the county will have an empty piece of property by the time the process ends. He also questioned if commissioners believe the authority is doing its job to bring new employers to the county.

“It’s a bottomless pit,” he said. “We’re spending our future for the spaceport.”

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House Passes McCarthy Spaceport Measure

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Rep. Kevin McCarthy

Rep. Kevin McCarthy

As we face the end of another fiscal year with Congress not even close to passing a national budget, there is one tiny ray of hope coming out of Washington.

A bill introduced by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) concerning the nation’s spaceports passed unanimously, 425-0. The measure would allow the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct studies to determine whether constructing or altering structures at or near spaceports will interfere with “launch and reentry vehicles arriving or departing from a commercial launch site or reentry site.”

The measure is good news for the Mojave Air and Space Port, which has been concerned about the encroachment of structures on the airport.

McCarthy’s bill now goes to the Senate. Whether the measure will be passed during this current session is unclear. Congress is about to go on break so members campaign for re-election based on what a great job they’re doing in Washington.

After the election is over, Congress will reconvene to try to compete a year’s worth of legislative work in the time they have left before Christmas. If the Senate doesn’t approve McCarthy’s bill then, he will have to reintroduce it in the new Congress that convenes in January.

Alaska Officials Re-dedicate Pacific Spaceport Complex

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Craig Campbell, Lindsay Knight, Jenith Flynn, Dr. Robert McCoy, Sen. Gary Stevens and Rep. Louise Stutes re-dedicate the Pacific Spaceport Complex -- Alaska. (Credit: AAC)

Craig Campbell, Lindsay Knight, Jenith Flynn, Dr. Robert McCoy, Sen. Gary Stevens and Rep. Louise Stutes re-dedicate the Pacific Spaceport Complex — Alaska. (Credit: AAC)

KODIAK, AK. (AAC PR) — On Saturday, August 13th, Alaska Aerospace Corporation and the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska (PSCA) commemorating completion of the rebuilding of damaged facilities caused by the launch failure in August 2014.

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XCOR Signs MOU With Glasgow Prestwick Spaceport, Orbital Access

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Lynx nose structure. (Credit: XCOR)

Lynx nose structure. (Credit: XCOR)

FARNBOROUGH, UK, July 12, 2016 (XCOR PR) – US manned space launch vehicle designer XCOR Aerospace has signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with spaceplane design and operating company Orbital Access Limited and Glasgow Prestwick Spaceport. This partnership is supported by Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Government’s economic development agency.

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Council to Spend £240,000 on Developing Spaceport, Aerospace Sector

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Artist's rendering of Glasgow Prestwick Spaceport (Credit: South Ayreshire Council)

Artist’s rendering of Glasgow Prestwick Spaceport (Credit: South Ayreshire Council)

PRESTWICK, Scotland (South Ayrshire Council PR) — Plans to drive forward development at Prestwick in the aerospace and space hub sectors is to benefit from a major new project. South Ayrshire Council has agreed to joint fund a two-year support package designed to build Prestwick’s momentum as one of the UK’s leading aerospace clusters.

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Report: UK Spaceport Competition Scrapped

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UK_spaceport_candidates_shorterlistThe Herald reports the UK Department for Transport (DfT) has scrapped a competition to select a single spaceport in favor of a licensing process that would enable multiple locations to apply to host launches. The newspaper obtained a copy of a letter sent to spaceport competitors.

The letter, dated May 20 and signed by Michael Clark, DfT head of international aviation, safety and environment, and Catherine Mealing-Jones, director of growth at the UK Space Agency, states that the move will help create “viable business models at a range of locations”.

The letter states: “To avoid restricting the development of the UK market, the Government will create the regulatory conditions for any suitable location that wishes to become a spaceport, to take the opportunity to develop and attract commercial space business…

“The Government recognises the importance of industry working with operators to start spaceflight operations and we will work with operators to develop viable business models at a range of locations across the UK, rather than at any one single location.”

Five locations around the UK were in competition to become the location of the kingdom’s first spaceport.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has a licensing process for spaceports.

Space Renaissance Act Calls for Major Changes in Commercial Policies

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By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Rep. Jim Bridenstine’s (R-OK) proposed American Space Renaissance Act (ASRA) would bring about significant changes in the nation’s commercial space policy, with a much larger role for the Department of Transportation and a revamping of activities within the Commerce Department.

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Spaceport America Welcomed Over 1,700 Guests at Open House

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A speaker addresses an audience at Spaceport America’s open house. (Credit: Spaceport America)

SPACEPORT AMERICA, NM, April 4, 2016 (Spaceport America PR) –  Crew members from Spaceport America and Virgin Galactic opened the doors to the world’s first purpose-built spaceport on Saturday to welcome more than 1,700 guests from across the country.  Some flew in, others drove in, and others around the world were able to tune in via the Spaceport America Periscope broadcast that was also trending.  Eighty-six crew members from the New Mexico Civil Air Patrol were on hand to support the activities happening on the ground.

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Spaceport Camden Supporters Fight For Legislation

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spaceport_camden_logoATLANTA, GA, March 22, 2016 (Spaceport Camden PR) — Spaceport Camden advocates came out to the Georgia Capitol in droves last week to demonstrate their support for the Georgia Spaceflight bill, HB 734.

On the recent hearing, Senator Bruce Thompson, Chairman of the Georgia State Senate Science & Technology Committee said, “this is the single most attention given to a bill in my tenure in the Senate. In fact, more than 2,300 emails and letters have been sent in this past week alone.”

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Spaceport Bill Advances in Alabama Legislature

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Alabama_SealThe Alabama Senate has passed a measure to establish a spaceport authority that would seek funding for a study on whether to develop a federally-licensed spaceport in the state.

The measure, sponsored by Sen. Gerald Dial (R-Lineville), would create the Alabama Space Authority within the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) to:

  • promote the research and development of new space exploration and spaceport technologies;
  • sponsor conferences and business round tables within the aerospace, aviation, and related industries;
  • promote activities and industries related to space exploration; and,
  • provide for the initial support needed to apply for federal grant funding for a spaceport study.

The authority would include representatives from “the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the Alabama Department of Commerce, ADECA, Alabama Department of Transportation, the Governor, the Legislature, and other individuals with knowledge and interest in space technology.”

The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

Kona International Airport Moves Forward on Spaceport Application

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The Big Island of Hawaii

The Big Island of Hawaii

Kona International Airport on the island of Hawaii is nearing the completion of an environmental assessment required for its application for a spaceport license.

If the environmental assessment comes back and the results are FONSI — findings of no significant impact —the next step is 30 days of public meetings in Kailua-Kona.

The state has already received several drafts from the Federal Aviation Administration and are just awaiting the final document.

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