FAA Accepts Camden County Georgia’s Launch Site Operators License Application

Spaceport Camden launch complex (Credit: Camden County)

WOODBINE, Ga. (Spaceport Camden PR)–The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has notified Camden County, Georgia that it has completed an initial review of the Spaceport Camden Launch Site Operator License application and found it to be complete enough to accept and begin the 180-day review process. According to the FAA it “anticipate[s] making a license determination, in accordance with 14 CFR § 413.15, on or before December 16, 2019.”

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ESA’s Expertise to Support Portugal’s Launch Program

Azores from space

PARIS (ESA PR) — Portugal is developing the infrastructure for a national spaceport on one of the islands of the Azores archipelago, Santa Maria, a European launch and landing location for small satellites.

As an ESA Member State, Portugal has requested ESA’s tailored expertise and technical assistance in an agreement signed on 21 June by ESA Director General Jan Wörner and Manuel Heitor, Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education.
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Scotland’s Western Isles Seeks Spaceport

Artist’s impression of Spaceport 1 north view. (Credit: Western Isles Council)

SCOLPAIG, Scotland (Western Isles Council PR) — North Uist is set to enter the space age as a project to create the UK’s first ever vertical launch commercial space port is unveiled today.

The consortium behind the Spaceport 1 project, which includes major players in the UK and international space sector and is led by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), is proposing to build a new Spaceport at Scolpaig on the north-west coast of North Uist.

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Nova Scotia Approves Spaceport with Conditions

Cyclone 4M

The CBC reports that the Nova Scotia Environmental Department has given an approval with conditions for the construction of a spaceport where Ukrainian Cylcone 4M launch vehicles would operate.

Environment Minister Gordon Wilson said he was satisfied any significant environmental effects of the Maritime Launch Services (MLS) project could be mitigated with compliance to the department’s conditions.

“I think we’ve made the right decision on ensuring that all the environmental impacts and the safety of the people in the area have been looked at and addressed in the terms of conditions of this approval,” said Wilson.

“Our staff did a very good job in engaging consultants who were understanding of this type of activity.”

[….]

Concerns about hydrazines, chemicals that will be used as rocket propellant, were among the main issues raised by the department.

Among the conditions, MLS will be required to submit information on expected air emissions of pollutants during regular operations and worst-case scenarios, including the maximum distance downwind that would need to be evacuated.

From Airport to Spaceport: £2 Million Available to Develop Horizontal Spaceflight in the UK

  • 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.

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UKSA Awards Grant Funding for Commercial Launch Range Control Services

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.

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Spaceport Camden Opponents: Document Proves Launches Too Dangerous

Spaceport Camden launch trajectories (Credit: Camden County)

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.

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Shetland Space Centre Forms Partnership with ArianeGroup for Spaceport Study

Unst Island

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.

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ANA & Marubeni to Establish Spaceport in Japan

A planned suborbital space plane. Credit: (PD AeroSpace Ltd./Koike Terumasa Design and Aerospace)

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.

Group Forms to Oppose UK Spaceport

Artist’s impression of a UK spaceport. (Credit: Perfect Circle PV)

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.”

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.

Group Sues FAA for Withholding Georgia Spaceport Safety Assessments

Spaceport Camden launch complex (Credit: Camden County)

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.

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Portugal Eyes Spaceport in the Azores

Azores from space. (Credit: Portugal Government)

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.

Midland City Council Votes to Renew Spaceport License

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.