UK Space Agency opens £2 million [$2.54 million] development fund for horizontal spaceflight
Existing airports could develop new infrastructure to allow aircraft or spaceplanes to take off and deploy satellites in space
Horizontal spaceport runways also offer an attractive option for space tourism in the future.
LONDON (UKSA PR) — Future spaceports can apply for a share of £2 million [$2.54 million] to support plans for small satellite launch from aircraft and sub-orbital flight from the UK, Science Minister Chris Skidmore announced today.
SWINDON, UK (UKSA PR) — The UK Space Agency has confirmed that three organisations have been awarded over £350,000 [$457.5 million] in grant funding for the development of commercial range control services at multiple spaceport sites across the country.
The successful applicants Telespazio VEGA UK Ltd, Deimos Space UK Ltd and Heliaq UK Ltd will use the funding to develop a business plan and initial concept of operations to offer range services from the UK on a commercial basis.
The 2018 Space Industry Act enables companies to use cutting edge technology while also safeguarding public safety. Range control services are vital to this and include activities such as tracking rockets and spaceplanes in flight, as well as notifying users of airspace when launches are taking place.
CUMBERLAND ISLAND NATIONAL SEASHORE, Ga. (Protect Cumberland Island PR – A document proving that the Cumberland Island National Seashore’s expected casualty rates from launches at Spaceport Camden exceed FAA limitations has been legally obtained from Camden County by a local citizen under the Georgia Open Records Act (GORA).
The document was included in a large batch of documents sent to a Camden County resident, Steve Weinkle, as part of a GORA request.
GRANTOWN-ON-SPEY, Scotland (Shetland Space Center PR) — The Shetland Space Centre today announces a major partnership with ArianeGroup.
The joint venture, equally owned by Airbus and Safran and lead contractor for Europe’s Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 launchers, will define a concept of operations and assess the range of missions for the SSC spaceport project in the frame of a three-month study. The spaceport will be designed from the ground up to be a commercial facility operated by SSC.
Nikkei Asian Review reports on efforts to establish a new spaceport in Japan.
All Nippon Airways operator ANA Holdings and trading house Marubeni will set up a spaceport in Japan as early as 2021, Nikkei has learned.
The launch site, equivalent to a seaport for ships or an airport for aircraft, will be for private space travel, and feature 3-km runways for craft that take off horizontally like airplanes….
The two companies, together with four other partners — including Airbus Japan, satellite broadcaster Sky Perfect JSAT and real estate company Mitsui Fudosan — have established a company named Spaceport Japan to advance the project. The Tokyo-based team will begin work on Friday.
ANA is working with PD Aerospace on developing a suborbital space plane.
The BBC reports a group named Protect The Mhoine (PTM) has formed to oppose plans to construct a spaceport on the Moine peninsula in Sutherland.
Its members’ concerns include the boundary of the spaceport’s exclusion zone being only a few hundred metres from their property, and also the handling of consultation on the project.Under the proposals, satellites launched from Sutherland would fly from north to south….
Chairman John William told BBC Scotland: “We think that drawbacks of building a spaceport on the Moine are far more serious and longer lasting than any possible benefits.
“The benefits are claimed to be 40 jobs in the area and perhaps 400 jobs worldwide. Those are tentative numbers.
“What is certain is if you destroy a peatlands area by putting roads across it, concrete in it and rockets on it the damage will last for hundreds or thousands of years.”
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.
ATLANTA (SELC PR) — The Southern Environmental Law Center is challenging the Federal Aviation Administration for refusing to disclose important information about the risks of harm to human life and property around a proposed spaceport in Camden County.
The government of Portugal and the regional government of the Azores have issued an international call of interest for proposals to use a proposed spaceport on the island of Santa Maria.
“In several recent independent studies, all the authors concluded that the Island of Santa Maria offers a privileged geographic location in the middle of the Atlantic, permitting an unobstructed launch trajectory, over the sea, for polar or SSO [sun synchronous] orbits, as well as a unique position between Europe, the Americas and Africa, representing a major advantage compared to other space ports in the world,” according to the program’s official website.
The Atlantic International Satellite Launch Programme hopes to begin begin launches of small satellites in 2021. Officials announced the program on Tuesday at the International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany.
“The feasibility of establishing a spaceport in the Azores was first assessed in the fall of 2017 by the Center for Space Research of the University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin) under the UT Austin-Portugal partnership, supported by the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation, FCT, and released by the end of 2017,” according to the website.
“Since then, several key space providers have initiated studies about potential launch sites in the Azores and, in addition, ESA is currently supporting preliminary micro-launcher related studies through its FLPP – Future Launchers Preparatory Program and GSTP – General Studies and Technology Programme,” the website states.
The deadline for interested parties to provide a formal expression of interest is Oct. 31.
The Midland City Council voted 6-1 last week to spend $10,000 on the renewal of a spaceport license for the Midland International Airport.
Council members seemed to appreciate Councilman Spencer Robnett’s concern about economic development efforts that didn’t pan out, including the failed deals with XCOR Aerospace and Orbital Outfitters, which have either filed for bankruptcy or gone out of business since. Councilman Jeff Sparks even said during the meeting he felt the council was “duped” and that XCOR, in particular, was not what the council was led to believe.
Director of Airports Justine Ruff told the Reporter-Telegram on Monday that a total of $2 million in city dollars has been spent on the spaceport through Airport Operations Fund, which she said is funded through parking lot fees and money brought in through minerals on airport land.
Sparks and Councilman J.Ross Lacy also mentioned the “$10 million” in tangible assets that exist at Midland International because of Midland Development Corp. and Governor’s Office investments in aerospace in Midland.
Following the bankruptcies of XCOR and Orbital outfitters, Midland City Councilman Spencer Robnett says it’s time to end the city’s efforts to establish a viable spaceport.
In an opinion piece published by the Midland Reporter Telegram, Robnett wrote:
At this Tuesday’s City Council meeting, we will consider a resolution extending a contract with SilverWing Enterprises for contractual services to renew our spaceport license for 5 years. I will vote against extending the spaceport license and any future spaceport agenda items and would encourage my fellow councilmen and councilwoman to do the same.
What was initially touted as a chance to diversify Midland’s economy and bring space tourism, space research and space travel to West Texas has cost the taxpayers of Midland over $20 million to date with nothing to show for it. Since this community began pursuit of a spaceport designation, Midland’s population has grown at unprecedented rates and Permian Basin oil production has tripled. Based on some reports, Basin production could again double by 2023 with $300 billion in upstream investment forecast during that time period. We need to spend our tax dollars supporting infrastructure that helps drive what makes Midland unique and prosperous, not chase speculative diversification efforts at the taxpayers’ expense.
BRIGHTON, Colo. (Adams County PR) — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted a site operator license to Colorado Air and Space Port after a 180-day review period, the 11th such license granted in the United States. Colorado Air and Space Port will serve as America’s hub for commercial space transportation, research, and development.
“Facilities like Colorado Air and Space Port will be developed around the country and the world,” said Mary Hodge, chair of the Adams County Board of Commissioners. “We’ll be building a hub that connects Colorado to commercial and research opportunities across the globe.”
Adams County spokesman Jim Siedlecki said the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval came through Friday. A formal announcement on the license is scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. Monday at Adams County government headquarters.
“Certainly, having the regulatory stamp of approval from the FAA does enable Spaceport Colorado to accelerate engagement and partnerships with potential users,” said Carolyn Belle, a senior analyst with Northern Sky Research who specializes in the aerospace sector.
But it’s the users, the handful of companies developing the space planes of the future, that are lagging behind the infrastructure being built to accommodate their vehicles. Dave Ruppel, airport director for Front Range Airport, said the first horizontal launch and landing at Spaceport Colorado won’t occur for at least a half decade.
Industrial Strategy funding awarded to proposed vertical launch spaceport in Sutherland, Scotland
Horizontal launch sites such as those planned in Cornwall, Glasgow Prestwick and Snowdonia to be boosted by new £2 million development fund
Commercial vertical and horizontal launch demand is worth a potential £3.8 billion to the UK economy over the next decade and will support further growth of Britain’s space sector
Additional grants to be announced at next week’s Farnborough International Airshow will see leading commercial spaceflight operators launching from Sutherland
SWINDON, UK (UKSA PR) — The UK Space Agency has selected the first vertical launch site in Sutherland on the north coast of Scotland and is making available a new £2 million fund to boost horizontal spaceport development across Britain, Business Secretary Greg Clark will announce today (Monday 16 July).