Spaceport Houston


From across the pond, the UK Daily Mail on plans to turn Houston’s old Ellington Field into a commercial spaceport:

The city announced yesterday that it had applied for a licence to build the United States’ latest and biggest spaceport, and has already drawn up a detailed proposal of what the state-of-the-art facility would look like if it gets the green light.

The spaceport, which would be built on a 450-acre site that is currently home to the US military and NASA operations at Ellington Airport, would include a sleek passenger terminal and an aviation museum.

The white zone is for loading and unloading…

Plus some spiffy pictures from the Houston Airport Authority. Observant readers will note a couple of Boeing Sonic Cruisers mixed in with the SpaceShipTwos and Orbital L1011 launchers. Really observant readers will see an old B727 in the far background, which I assume represents ZeroG’s “vomit comet” franchise. Didn’t see XCOR or Stratolaunch represented, but it’s just concept art so no reason to get in a twist over it. And to be honest, municipal airport authorities tend to be booster-ish: that is, real good at coming up with grandiose plans that never see the light of day…and when they do, they’re often based on shaky economics. Though I did like how they hope to eventually host “international” spaceflights, which I take to mean the kind of point-to-point suborbital concepts of which I’m a bit of a fan.

It’d be nice to see all this come to pass, but there are a lot of other things that need to happen first. Namely, spaceplanes need to start showing up en masse.

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