Proposed Houston Spaceport at Ellington Airport

Ellington Airport, located near Johnson Space Center, just south of Houston, could become the nation’s ninth licensed commercial spaceport.

The Houston Airport System unveiled part of its vision for the future of Ellington Airport today. Conceptual renderings of a possible Spaceport have been released to the public. Renderings show a terminal facility, an aviation museum and accompanying aerospace industries. The unveiling occurred as the City of Houston prepared to host the annual meeting of the Commercial Space Federation.

Aerospace museum at proposed Houston spaceport

“This is a new and exciting sector of the 21st Century economy that carries amazing potential for growth,” said Houston Mayor Annise Parker. “We believe a licensed Spaceport in Houston would not only serve as an economic generator for the city but it would also enhance Houston’s well-deserved reputation as a leader and key player in the aerospace industry.”

Houston City Council members agreed with that assessment on July 17, 2013, when they voiced their overwhelming support for the pursuit of Spaceport licensing at Ellington Airport. If the required license is secured, the Houston Airport System could move forward to establish the infrastructure and support facilities needed to accommodate enterprises such as component and composite fabrication, space-vehicle assembly, launching of micro-satellites, astronaut training, zero-gravity experimentation and space tourism.

Proposed Houston spaceport

“It’s important to realize that this type of work is already taking place today,” said Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz. “This is not a conversation based on science fiction or futuristic projections. This is a conversation about how Houston can access and enhance an industry that is already well-established and growing exponentially.”

“It is gratifying to see Houston emerge as the latest applicant to join the growing network of spaceports across the country,” said Commercial Spaceflight Federation president Michael Lopez-Alegria. “The area has many attributes that appeal to commercial space entities, including geographical location that allows easy access to offshore airspace, a strong and diverse economy that provides an educated and skilled workforce, and of course a long tradition of close association with human spaceflight.”

The launches proposed for Ellington Airport would be limited to horizontal takeoff reusable spacecraft. Since receiving City Council approval, the Houston Airport System has been working through the countless details associated with the project.
Monorail train at proposed Houston spaceport

Written by Astro1 on September 4th, 2013 , Spaceports

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