Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Commercial Space - Military Space
  Houston Spaceport at Ellington Airport (EFD)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Houston Spaceport at Ellington Airport (EFD)
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 32701
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-13-2013 09:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Houston Chronicle reports that the Houston Airport System presented plans Thursday (July 11) to build a spaceport at Ellington Field.
According to the spaceport presentation, Ellington could host orbital, sub-orbital, and point-to-point launches. There would be no vertical launches at Ellington.

They are also reportedly working on an FAA/AST Spaceport License, collaborations with the Johnson Space Center, and partnerships with local universities like Rice, Texas A&M, University of Houston, and Texas Southern University are also being forged.

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation, an industry association of over 40 businesses and organizations working to make commercial human spaceflight a reality, will be holding their annual meeting in Houston in September.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 32701
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-18-2013 07:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Houston Business Journal reports that the Houston City Council is officially on board with bringing commercial spaceflight to Ellington Field.
On Wednesday [July 17], the council approved a $718,900 contract with Reynolds, Smith and Hills Inc., a consulting service, to study how Houston can obtain a spaceport launch site operator's license. The consulting firm will also conduct an environmental assessment at Ellington.

According to city council documents, Reynolds, Smith and Hills will have a three-year contract with the city, and the majority of the firm’s work to get a spaceport license and assess conditions at Ellington Airport will be completed in the first year of the contract.

dabolton
Member

Posts: 385
From: Seneca, IL, US
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 07-18-2013 04:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dabolton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would Ellington be the first spaceport that is in a metropolitan area? What's to prevent giving blanket licenses to any large airport with long enough runways?

Cozmosis22
Member

Posts: 553
From: Texas * Earth
Registered: Apr 2011

posted 07-27-2013 03:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The city of Houston and that business federation are using the term "spaceport" rather loosely; and certainly not in the traditional sense.

There's a world of difference between sending something into a low orbit off a 15 screaming eagle... and "human spaceflight."

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 32701
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-27-2013 07:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They are using the same definition of spaceport as the other eight non-federal launch sites licensed by the FAA:
  • California Spaceport at Vandenberg Air Force Base
  • Spaceport Florida at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
  • Cecil Field Spaceport, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia
  • Mojave Air and Space Port in California
  • Kodiak Launch Complex on Kodiak Island, Alaska
  • Oklahoma Spaceport, Burns Flat, Oklahoma
  • Spaceport America, Las Cruces, New Mexico
quote:
Originally posted by dabolton:
What's to prevent giving blanket licenses to any large airport with long enough runways?
Per the Federal Aviation Administration:
The location of a launch site is determined by access to useful orbits and public safety. In order to protect the public's safety, launch sites are normally built as far away as possible from major cities in case of a catastrophic failure. Most launch sites are built close to bodies of water to ensure that should a failure occur, no components fall over populated areas.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 32701
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-24-2015 11:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sierra Nevada Corporation
Sierra Nevada Corporation and Houston Airport System Announce New Agreement

Sierra Nevada Corporation's (SNC) Space Systems and the Houston Airport System (HAS) announce a new follow-on agreement to utilize Ellington Airport's Spaceport as a future landing site for SNC's Uncrewed Dream Chaser spacecraft — SNC's solution for NASA's Cargo Resupply needs and other critical space operations.

"Entering into this new agreement with HAS will lead to enabling all variants of the Dream Chaser spacecraft to land in Houston, offering the ability to return cargo and science to Houston directly from space," said Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC's Space Systems. "Through this agreement, we want to promote broad awareness of the importance of utilizing low-Earth orbit as a source of research, science and the expansion of space flight that are critical to Houston's ongoing position as a 'Space City.' Houston has earned its place at the forefront of space exploration with such institutes as NASA's Johnson Space Center, Rice Space University, the Texas Medical Center, the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership and many other organizations."

The objectives of this new agreement include exploring the applications and opportunities between HAS and SNC utilizing the Uncrewed Dream Chaser spacecraft to serve the needs of government, science, research, consumer and commercial enterprise while also building awareness of the positive economic impact of the Ellington Airport/Spaceport to the state of Texas. The new agreement is in anticipation of HAS receiving its spaceport license approval for Ellington Airport.

"The Houston Airport System is pleased to continue working with Sierra Nevada Corporation as a landing site for their Dream Chaser spacecraft," said Arturo Machuca, general manager, Ellington Airport. "As we move into the final phase of receiving our spaceport license it is important that HAS work with private industry to ensure the sustainability of the Houston Spaceport. The Dream Chaser spacecraft, with its unique horizontal runway landing capability, low-g entry and use of non-toxic propulsion, makes it an ideal test bed for biomedical, pharmaceutical, cellular and genetic research payloads. Houston, a leader in space-based biomedical research, is eager to work with SNC to sustain and advance these research opportunities in low-Earth orbit, then gently return them directly to Houston for immediate unloading."

The Dream Chaser Cargo System is an autonomous system developed to provide cargo transportation services to the International Space Station (ISS). The Dream Chaser Cargo Systems is a mission variant of the Dream Chaser Space System that exceeds NASA's goals for cargo transportation to the ISS, including rapid return of critical science.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 32701
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-25-2015 04:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Houston aviation officials said Tuesday (March 24) the city will likely obtain a spaceport license by early this summer from the Federal Aviation Administration for Ellington Airport, the Houston Chronicle reports.
"Before July we are very optimistic that you'll be living in a city with a spaceport as part of its infrastructure," said Arturo Machuca, general manager of Ellington Airport.

No rockets will launch from Ellington's spaceport... but with its runway and spaceport license, the city hopes to capture a piece of the emerging space tourism industry, which comes in a variety of spacecraft and space planes, as well as develop other related aerospace infrastructure at the 700-acre site in southeast Houston.

Machuca mentioned the likelihood of a contract with a company to manufacture drones, and hopes to eventually bring spacecraft building enterprises as well to Houston.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 32701
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-01-2015 03:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Houston, we have a spaceport: FAA gives 'Space City' license for launches

The Houston airport where astronauts have departed on training flights for more than 50 years is now host to the United States' newest commercial spaceport.

The Houston Airport System (HAS) on Tuesday (June 30) was granted a launch site license from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) establishing Ellington Airport near the NASA Johnson Space Center as the tenth commercial spaceport in the country.

"Houston has a rich history in space operations. We have a first-class airport system that already connects Houston to the rest of the globe. We want to make sure that airport system is part of connecting Houston to space," Houston Mayor Annise Parker said at a press conference Tuesday.

Cozmosis22
Member

Posts: 553
From: Texas * Earth
Registered: Apr 2011

posted 07-01-2015 03:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well. about two years after their initial proposal of this venture they got their official designation. Maybe in another two years they will actually launch something into space. Maybe not? Still, nice bit of political rhetoric, quote Mayor Parker "...connecting Houston to space."

dabolton
Member

Posts: 385
From: Seneca, IL, US
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 07-02-2015 10:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dabolton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All existing space vehicles use toxic fuels for maneuvering engines which are usually vented pre- or post-landing. How will they manage this in an urban environment? Ellington is surrounded by homes and businesses.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 32701
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-02-2015 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The FAA's final environment assessment of the Houston Spaceport is here.
After reviewing and analyzing currently available data and information on existing conditions and the potential impacts of the Proposed Action, the FAA has determined that the Proposed Action would not significantly impact the quality of the human environment.

...for nominal launches, all of the oxidizer would be consumed during the RLV powered flight. For aborted flights, the oxidizer would be released and evaporate before landing, while the fuel would remain onboard and would be returned to the ground by the RLV.

For a nominal launch, no hazardous post-flight ground operations would be required to return the RLV to safe conditions. In the event the oxidizer is not completely consumed or released, the RLV would be moved to an area with an established safety clear zone (i.e., OLA), and the remaining oxidizer and fuel would be removed in accordance with safety procedures developed for the Houston Spaceport.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2015 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement