Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Spaceport Officials Wait for State Funding to Come Through

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Spaceport Officials Wait for State Funding to Come Through

Article excerpt

Oklahoma's spaceport is licensed and open for business, after more than six years of work to get to this point, members of the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority said Wednesday. It is hoped the Oklahoma Legislature will soon provide the funding the agency needs to take the program to the next level, said Executive Director Bill Khourie.

OSIDA has achieved the three goals it was given when it was created in 1999 - to produce space commerce, promote aerospace education and have a licensed spaceport in place before the end of the decade, Khourie said.

Oklahoma is now home to the only inland spaceport licensed to use the national airspace system free and clear of military operating areas or government restricted airspace for suborbital reusable launch vehicles, Khourie said. No other spaceport in the country has the kind of freedom the Oklahoma Spaceport in Burns Flat now boasts: its own patch of sky in which to fly, measuring about 60 miles wide by 150 miles long, and the ability to safely mesh in with the rest of the commercial airspace, Khourie said.

On Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration approved the last of the paperwork to grant the spaceport an Inland Launch Site Operators License. Located at the site of the former Clinton- Sherman Air Force Base, the 2,700-acre spaceport has one of the longest runways in North America. Rocketplane Unlimited Inc. is one of the companies that plans to use the facility for its first scheduled test launches next year of the space shuttle-type reusable, suborbital vehicles the company is developing.

Members of OSIDA's board and staff thanked several legislators who helped the project along, particularly state Sen. Gilmer Capps, D-Snyder. The Clinton-Sherman Air Force Base shut down just before Capps was first elected to office in 1970, he said, and he's been working ever since to bring a viable industry back to the site. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.