Friday, November 17, 2006

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Spaceport In Virginia.

Apparently, it's not just the wide-open spaces of the West that will be home to the coming commercialized space age. Virginia has a spaceport. (Here.)

It's a small facility and appears to be a joint venture of two state governments, Virginia and Maryland, but if officials at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport have their way, it will be the launch site for future commercial flights to the ISS. In the more immediate future MARS, as it's called, plans to launch an Air Force flight on December 11, 2006. Three more flights are planned with assistance from NASA. Two government flights and one joint venture.

Another blogger wonders just how private this facility really is with all that government involvement. (Here.) Not very, it appears. But that's the reality of the space industry today. Government is still one of the biggest players.


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Virginia is starting to realize it has what many in the west desire --a FAA-AST licensed commercail spaceport with all the goodies like runway, restricted airspace, range operations, launch pads, and a pro-business environment.

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