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Spaceport Houston

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Got this from Ellen Cohen newsletter:

 

Council Member Cohen and her colleagues on the Budget & Fiscal Affairs Committee received a presentation from Director Mario Diaz of the Houston Airport System regarding the viability of planning for a future commercial spaceport in Houston. Director Diaz noted that Houston's Ellington Field Airport is particularly well-positioned for becoming a global hub for commercial spaceflight due to Houston's current aerospace infrastructure within the NASA community and our proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and Latin America.

 

 

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If they're talking about launching rockets, I don't think being that close to a large population center is a good idea. Note that launch sites are normally out in the countryside (as in Russia) or right next to the ocean (Kennedy) so that when something goes wrong fewer people get hurt.

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If they're talking about launching rockets, I don't think being that close to a large population center is a good idea. Note that launch sites are normally out in the countryside (as in Russia) or right next to the ocean (Kennedy) so that when something goes wrong fewer people get hurt.

There was some information about this on the Chron and from the Houston Airport System. Rockets use a vertical launch and vertical launches are restricted at spaceports

http://www.houstontx.gov/council/1/bfacommittee/20130709/spaceport.pdf

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First look at the rendering by PR newswire.

 

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/houston-airports-unveil-first-look-at-proposed-spaceport-222408381.html#prettyPhoto[pp_gal]/0/

 

ZzLLNDt.jpg

 

9t3f2lm.jpg

 

 

Animation Video Clips

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gunfiy7hz13tcc/QY3D72f1V2/Spaceport%20Animation%20Video#lh:null-SCENE1_TIMELAPSE1.mp4

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gunfiy7hz13tcc/QY3D72f1V2/Spaceport%20Animation%20Video#lh:null-SCENE1_TIMELAPSE2.mp4

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gunfiy7hz13tcc/QY3D72f1V2/Spaceport%20Animation%20Video#lh:null-SCENE1_TIMELAPSE3.mp4

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gunfiy7hz13tcc/QY3D72f1V2/Spaceport%20Animation%20Video#lh:null-SCENE3_FLYBY%20DAY1.mp4

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gunfiy7hz13tcc/QY3D72f1V2/Spaceport%20Animation%20Video#lh:null-SCENE3_FLYBY%20NIGHT1.mp4

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gunfiy7hz13tcc/QY3D72f1V2/Spaceport%20Animation%20Video#lh:null-SCENE3_FLYBY%20NIGHT2.mp4

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gunfiy7hz13tcc/QY3D72f1V2/Spaceport%20Animation%20Video#lh:null-SCENE3_main%20axis%20day.mp4

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gunfiy7hz13tcc/QY3D72f1V2/Spaceport%20Animation%20Video#lh:null-SCENE3_main%20axis%20night.mp4

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gunfiy7hz13tcc/QY3D72f1V2/Spaceport%20Animation%20Video#lh:null-SCENE3_TERMINAL%20DETAIL1.mp4

 

10 https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gunfiy7hz13tcc/QY3D72f1V2/Spaceport%20Animation%20Video#lh:null-SCENE3_TERMINAL%20DETAIL2.mp4

 

11 https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gunfiy7hz13tcc/QY3D72f1V2/Spaceport%20Animation%20Video#lh:null-SCENE3_TERMINAL%20DETAIL3.mp4

 

12 https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3gunfiy7hz13tcc/QY3D72f1V2/Spaceport%20Animation%20Video#lh:null-SCENE3_TERMINAL%20DETAIL%20NIGHT.mp4

Edited by TowerSpotter
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Got this from Ellen Cohen newsletter:

 

Council Member Cohen and her colleagues on the Budget & Fiscal Affairs Committee received a presentation from Director Mario Diaz of the Houston Airport System regarding the viability of planning for a future commercial spaceport in Houston. Director Diaz noted that Houston's Ellington Field Airport is particularly well-positioned for becoming a global hub for commercial spaceflight due to Houston's current aerospace infrastructure within the NASA community and our proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and Latin America.

 I would as a Flight Attendant rather see Known Crew Member at Hobby...

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Just imagine how many people would come to Houston to take a flight into space.

 

I heard mention of $200,000 per flight, so probably not that many people at first.

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Guest Jackwood

Who do I speak to about opening up a kiosk at the Houston Spaceport?

 

Oooo-baby! I just love typing out the word 'spaceport'. It sends chills down my spine!

 

spaceport

spaceport

spaceport

 

I think I just had an orbit-gasm!

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I heard mention of $200,000 per flight, so probably not that many people at first.

People complain about paying $79 between Hou-Dal... LOL

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I heard mention of $200,000 per flight, so probably not that many people at first.

 

A lot of millionaires would take a flight, especially famous people.

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The few that will pay for the Virgin Galactic (...etc) flights couldn't sustain this type of Spaceport.  But...when low orbit becomes a mode of Travel transport between destinations...that's what will make this Port useful.  Dallas won't be able to come up with anything to compete.  :-)

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Isn't a spaceport the last thing you build in Sim City before a huge hurricane comes and wipes it out?

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brian0123....hahaha, I was thinking the same thing. It's at the point you give up on your sim city and start with a clean slate.

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This whole idea strikes me as so profoundly dubious.  Just because Houston was once known as "Space City" doesn't make it the logical location for space tourism.  I can just picture whoever sponsored the render-ware artist saying "Just make it look like, you know, cool!" so they added maglevs etc. 

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I love the location just because it's near beltway 8 and near the proposed Generation Park. Both are bringing thousands of jobs and new industry's to Houston, which would strengthen the city's economy even more than what it is now.

 

The state of Texas is a hub for space flight considering that Space X has one proposed for South Padre Island and Xcor has one proposed for Midland. 

Edited by TowerSpotter

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Dallas won't be able to come up with anything to compete. :-)

Why not?

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Looks cool but how long until this would actually become a reality?

The article said 5-10 years.

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Looks like the same architecture of that one proposal for the as trowels site. It's an ambitious dream. It will be interesting to see how the commercial world takes over the space program, however it won't work if there's no profit. That's the difference when the government drops its manned space flight (for the betterment of mankind vs. a profit generating cool factor).

Crossing fingers.

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I love the location just because it's near beltway 8 and near the proposed Generation Park. 

 

I think your sense of direction is off TowerSpotter lol. Ellington Field is just outside the beltway off the Gulf Freeway. 

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To many people outside of NASA, the idea of commercial spaceflight may seem like too much science fiction thinking without enough roots in reality.

 

If this were the case, it wouldn’t make that much sense for the city of Houston to invest in a spaceport.

However, space experts insist that commercial spaceflight is right around the corner.

 

 

Full Article: http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/blog/nuts-and-bolts/2013/09/how-real-is-the-houston-spaceport.html

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This whole idea strikes me as so profoundly dubious.  Just because Houston was once known as "Space City" doesn't make it the logical location for space tourism.  I can just picture whoever sponsored the render-ware artist saying "Just make it look like, you know, cool!" so they added maglevs etc. 

 

It seems to me that Houston is the perfect location for this. Houston has more people with aerospace experience than probably any other place in the world.

And the proximity to NASA has to be a good thing.

Especially with all the companies that are in that area and contracted by NASA like Lockheed Martin Space Operations, Boeing, Aerospace Corp. , Orbital Science Corp., Odyssey Space Research, Spacehab Inc., Oceaneering Space Systems, and a few dozen other Space related companies:

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/about/people/contractorlist.html#.UitZdm2G6Yg

 

 

Space tourism is great but the main use, at least initially, would probably be satellite deployment or science and research.

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This whole idea seems bizarre to me and also rather naive.  

 

I'm kinda surprised that the director of the Houston airport system is pushing this, though I doubt he has the gravitas and financial backing to make a credible go at it.  If instead, it were backed by a visionary tech billionaire, I would be more optimistic that at least a serious attempt would be made.  If just left up to the COH, I imagine it would be underfunded and ignored by anyone outside of Houston.  

 

Sorry to be negative, but I think this is the only realistic response.

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Houston works to stay in forefront of spaceflight

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20140208-houston-works-to-stay-in-forefront-of-spaceflight.ece

"HOUSTON — With two corporations, SpaceX and Orbital Sciences, already delivering supplies to NASA’s International Space Station, a golden age may be at hand for private space firms.

Late this year, Virgin Galactic may launch its first suborbital flight, opening space to nonastronauts. And private companies are beginning to announce dates by which they’ll be ready to fly astronauts into orbit, a venture that until now has been solely the province of governments.

“We’re seeing a democratization of access to space,” Michael Lopez-Alegria, a four-time astronaut who now leads the industry group Commercial Spaceflight Federation, told the Houston Chronicle.

The rise of commercial space raises questions about the future of Houston as Space City, which for the entire history of U.S. spaceflight has been responsible for training and managing the flights of U.S. astronauts. Houston is racing to reinvent itself this decade as other parts of the country seek to chip away at its preeminence as the home of human spaceflight.

For now, Johnson Space Center will continue to be the home of NASA astronauts, but it’s not clear what role the center will have in working with astronauts who fly on privately built commercial vehicles to space.

NASA, for example, chose to establish its office overseeing the development of private spacecraft that will eventually carry U.S. astronauts to the space station at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, instead of at the Houston-based center.

The Houston region has not been oblivious to the rise of commercial space and its implications for the city’s traditional hegemony in human spaceflight.

“Houston is being very proactive,” said David Alexander, director of the Rice Space Institute.

Texas A&M recently held a commercial space workshop with Rice and industry partners to discuss a commercial space strategy for Houston and Texas. Universities, governments and industry partners will need to work together to ensure the vibrancy of Houston’s space presence, Alexander said.

The centerpiece of the region’s efforts is the development of a spaceport.

Last September, the Houston Airport System unveiled preliminary plans to develop a 450-acre spaceport at Ellington Airport. Houston aviation director Mario Diaz said he envisions a facility that would be home to space tourism as well as support aerospace hangars, manufacturing facilities, educational institutions and museums.

According to Darian Ward, a spokeswoman for the airport system, the city is about halfway through completing its application for an FAA license to operate the spaceport. The airport system expects to submit the license this summer and if all goes well could receive approval by the end of the year.

“The process is on time, and I believe that is significant,” Ward said.

Houston would be entering a competitive market. There are already more than a dozen government and private spaceports, with widely varying amounts of activity, in operation in the United States.

With a number of financial incentives, Spaceport America in New Mexico has secured a deal with Virgin Galactic to launch flights of SpaceShipTwo from there.

Despite a number of delays, the company’s founder, Richard Branson, has said commercial flights from the spaceport should begin as soon as the end of this year. The company has already presold more than 600 tickets at a cost of $200,000 each for flights to about 60 miles above the Earth, providing a spectacular view and a few minutes of weightlessness.

“Imagine doubling the number of people who have been in space in 50 years in a couple of years,” said Lopez-Alegria, the commercial spaceflight official. “That’s great, and I think that that will energize people.”

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I think Spacex is building its spaceport near Brownsville:

 

January 19, 2014

A January 18, 2014 story in the Brownsville Herald suggests that excitement is rising in that border community at the prospect of a commercial space port that SpaceX could build there. It seems that a SpaceX space port could change the nature of that community from a place where young people yearn to escape to one where people aspire to move to.

http://www.examiner.com/article/brownsville-looks-forward-to-spacex-space-port-with-keen-anticipation

 

 

 

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Ellington Airport's transition from air base to spaceport moved one small step closer to reality Thursday when one of the nation's most prominent private space companies joined the effort to study how it could land spaceships in the city where the nation's manned space program began.

 

The Sierra Nevada Corp., one of just four companies invited by NASA to work on ways to take people into low-Earth orbit, is developing a winged craft called the Dream Chaser that could one day make routine landings at Ellington under a multimillion-dollar renovation proposal the city approved last summer.

 

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/technology/article/Sierra-Nevada-to-partner-with-city-on-Ellington-5393759.php?cmpid=btfpm#/0

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This could go along way to restore houston rep as space city which lately has been in name only, plus a project of these size almost always lead to a construction boom in the area

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Sierra Nevada is apparently still in the mix. This facility needs to be designed to capture the manufacturing segment of the space business; there will probably not be anything more than weekly launches into space until the last half of this century(so much for that monorail!).

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I wonder if they could build a launch pad out on Bolivar or something since it's not heavily populated and launches could go directly out over the gulf? The spaceport idea is cool and nostalgic, but it won't have any launches. Only people landing and probably going on their merry way home.

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cloud713,

 

Most of the time they like to orbit eastbound as close to parallel to the equator as possible, to take advantage of the earth's rotation, so they would want to go straight east.  If they launched from Bolivar I wonder if it would go over populated land too soon after takeoff (Florida), which may not be ideal because of the possibility of launch failure.  That's why Brownsville is ideal because it's far enough south that an eastbound rocket wouldn't have to deviate far from east to avoid going over any populated areas.  Though perhaps Florida is far enough away that it's safe.

 

Ellington would, of course, be unacceptable for launches because there are plenty of people living just east of it.  Cape Canaveral and French Guiana have nothing to the east until reaching Africa, so both are perfect launch facilities.  Kazakhstan obviously isn't ideal for launches, for the above reasons plus it's too far north to take as much advantage from the earth's rotation, but I don't think the USSR really cared about hitting people with rocket parts (plus it's fairly sparsely populated anyway).

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I wonder if they could build a launch pad out on Bolivar or something since it's not heavily populated and launches could go directly out over the gulf? The spaceport idea is cool and nostalgic, but it won't have any launches. Only people landing and probably going on their merry way home.

 

There is a launch pad going in down near Brownsville. They already expect to launch over the Gulf (at least that's what the EIS said). Bolivar would be redundant.

 

When they make the launch vehicles capable of taking off horizontally, that will put Ellington in the game.

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The first spaceport built in New Mexico was intended for Virgin Galactic's spaceship one - which launches from a airplane mothership. Ellington would be perfect for this

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