MOJAVE, Calif. — The Mojave Air and Space Port has renamed itself to honor aviation and space pioneers Burt and Dick Rutan. The facility in California’s High Desert is now known as the Mojave Air and Space Port at Rutan Field.
“Whereas, Burt Rutan and Dick Rutan have made significant contributions in experimental aviation design, fabrication, and flight test at Mojave Air and Space Port, with their combined contributions resulting in first flights of over sixty unique experimental aircraft, including one twenty-year period with an average of a first flight of a new manned research type every eight and a half months,” the Board of Directors said in a resolution passed last month.
For eight years, they thundered aloft in cramped Russian spacecraft from a former Soviet spaceport in Kazakhstan, battling bureaucracy and gravity to blaze a trail across the heavens and redefine what it meant to be a space traveler. No longer would access to orbit be limited to highly trained astronauts chosen on merit and working on behalf of their nations; instead, space would be open to any sufficiently healthy people with enough money and moxie to qualify.
The Midland Reporter-Telegram reports that Midland Development Corporation has approved a deal with Kepler Aerospace for the city’s spaceport. The board approved a couple of items having to do with Kepler Aerospace Ltd.: a sublease agreement that calls for the Florida-based company to occupy the empty, 17,000-square-foot building – once occupied by Orbital Outfitters – at the business park at Midland International Airport. The deal does not include a cash […]
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 […]
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 […]
Well, that didn’t last very long. The Wall Street Journal reports that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis plans to remove John “Jay” Gibson II from the post of chief management officer (CMO) for a “lack of performance.” The decision comes less than a year after the former XCOR CEO joined the Defense Department as deputy CMO in November 2017. The Senate subsequently confirmed him as defense CMO in February 2018. In […]
There’s some news from Cornwall on the spaceport front: Cornwall Council has admitted that it is ‘anticipating a positive announcement’ on the bid to have the UK’s first spaceport in Newquay bringing thousands of new jobs and an £1bn a year into the local economy. Newquay is among eight UK sites vying to become the first spaceport in Europe as the Government aims to meet the growing interest in space […]
With two key tenants — XCOR and Orbital Outfitters — out of business, the Midland Development Corporation has hired Interflight Global to advise it on the next steps for Midland’s spaceport. It’s a move that City Councilman J. Ross Lacy, who also serves as the President for the Midland Spaceport Development Corporation, thinks is a step in the right direction. “As we continue to move forward and we see the […]