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Spaceport Houston

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wonder if anyone knows of any updates to this project and/or has photos they can post of the construction at Ellington Field (Spaceport Houston) ?  Such an exciting project that needs some light on it in this forum.  :)

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My friend sent me a text yesterday saying they just put up a sign on the fence at Ellington saying something about Spaceport. She is going to try to go by there again soon to see what it said exactly. 

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There’s really nothing to report.

 

Those renderings were conceptual marketing drawings ... those buildings were never going to be built as such.

 

Its only real chances for success is to attract companies to locate on EFD property, but even that’s a longshot. 

 

Not saying it’s a bad a concept but anyone who interpreted that as something “real” had their head in the stars.

 

HAS was doing things at IAH and HOU ... it was EFD’s turn. Definitely EFD’s best long-term hope but it really is a marketing gambit.

 

The idea that spacecraft need a control tower ...

Edited by mattyt36
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I'm not aerospace engineer, but I figure a horizontal takeoff and landing spaceplane really needs a control tower. I'm sorry I'm on this control tower, but it's there and it's big. 

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4 hours ago, Mr.Clean19 said:

I'm sure it is tied in with the testing of supersonic speeds over Galveston. 

 

What is tied in?

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6 hours ago, EllenOlenska said:

I'm not aerospace engineer, but I figure a horizontal takeoff and landing spaceplane really needs a control tower. I'm sorry I'm on this control tower, but it's there and it's big. 

 

Control towers in general are becoming obsolete.

 

http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/air-traffic-control-towers-removed-from-airports

 

But their advantage is really to monitor ground traffic.  It's not like there will be a lot of spacecraft taking off, landing, and taxiing at any given time.

 

The control tower was more of a vanity project.

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Even with a remote control location, you still need to have an elevated platform for the camera systems.  In the US, it is still in the developmental stages - a demonstration airport is in Leesburg, VA https://www.leesburgva.gov/government/departments/airport/remote-air-traffic-control-tower 

 

Current space launch operations are done by remote - the launch control center at Kennedy Space Center for example has windows facing the launchpads, but everyone inside is actually facing away from the windows

1280px-Firing_Room_-2_During_Apollo_12_C

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Launch_Control_Center)

 

For horizontal take-off and landing space ships, I suspect that it will be treated more like aircraft - and for now that means a control tower.

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7 hours ago, cspwal said:

Even with a remote control location, you still need to have an elevated platform for the camera systems.  In the US, it is still in the developmental stages - a demonstration airport is in Leesburg, VA https://www.leesburgva.gov/government/departments/airport/remote-air-traffic-control-tower 

 

Current space launch operations are done by remote - the launch control center at Kennedy Space Center for example has windows facing the launchpads, but everyone inside is actually facing away from the windows

1280px-Firing_Room_-2_During_Apollo_12_C

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Launch_Control_Center)

 

For horizontal take-off and landing space ships, I suspect that it will be treated more like aircraft - and for now that means a control tower.

 

Trust me, the EFD control tower has absolutely nothing to do with the Spaceport. It was spun that way, but I can assure you it doesn’t. 

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Probably a response to the air traffic then. With hobby nearby, a VFR approach seems ill advised

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7 hours ago, cspwal said:

Probably a response to the air traffic then. With hobby nearby, a VFR approach seems ill advised

 

What does VFR have to do with a control tower?

 

What does VFR have to with proximity to HOU? IFR doesn’t make a difference when it comes to avoiding traffic.

 

If I had to guess 99% of operations at EFD are VFR as it is.

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Do we know what phase 2B consists of?

 

www.cohtora.houstontx.gov/ibi_apps/WFServlet.ibfs?IBIF_webapp=/ibi_apps&IBIC_server=EDASERVE&IBIWF_msgviewer=OFF&IBIAPP_app=soldpermits&IBIF_ex=sold_permit_d&CLICKED_ON=&PN=19057550&PT=13

 

Quote

ELLINGTON SPACE PORT INFRASTRUCTURE PHASE 2B (BSG-2019-27-EFD)

Project No: 19057550
Date : 2019/06/07 00:00:00
USE : ELLINGTON SPACE PORT INFRASTRUCTURE PHAS
Owner/Occupant : **
Job Address : 13200 SPACE CENTER BLVD 77059
Valuation : $ 17,200,000
Permit Type : 13
FCC Group :  
Buyer : *TEXAS STERLING-BANICKI, LLC
Address : 20810 FERNBUSH LN 77073
Phone :

(480) 320-4358

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Great news !  This will be an exciting project once it gets going in earnest.  Look forward to competing with California for Space Travel ports !!!

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FYI, phase I is infrastructure + a 50,000 sf building only.

 

From the article:

 

The Houston Airport System will celebrate the groundbreaking of phase 1 — an $18.8 million project — with a ceremony at Ellington Airport at 13150 Space Center Blvd. The scope of the project’s first phase includes streets, water, wastewater, electrical power and distribution, fiber optics and communications facilities, according to a June 26 media advisory from HAS. The first phase will also include the construction of 53,000 square feet of lab and office space, according to the HAS website. Some 154 acres of land are set aside for phase 1.

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On 6/29/2019 at 8:32 AM, mattyt36 said:

FYI, phase I is infrastructure + a 50,000 sf building only.

 

From the article:

 

The Houston Airport System will celebrate the groundbreaking of phase 1 — an $18.8 million project — with a ceremony at Ellington Airport at 13150 Space Center Blvd. The scope of the project’s first phase includes streets, water, wastewater, electrical power and distribution, fiber optics and communications facilities, according to a June 26 media advisory from HAS. The first phase will also include the construction of 53,000 square feet of lab and office space, according to the HAS website. Some 154 acres of land are set aside for phase 1.

 

Wow, that is hardly "ground breaking" news .... this site work is necessary for just about any type of modern development, and the lab and office space could be used by almost any  company.

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This project (the spaceport in general) doesnt pass my sniff test. There's clearly a future for private ventures into space, but right now the economic of space flights appear to break down into 3 groups. 

 

1.) Governments, Spycraft, Defense, scientific research. 

2.) Telecommunications 

3.) Stupidly Rich Tourists. 

 

To me, Private companies are mostly going after contracts in the 1 and 2 categories. Is there any indications that there's sufficient demand to build a spaceport, much less in Houston?  I dont know... convince me I'm wrong. I'm a Star Trek fan, so I want to like this, but call me a healthy skeptic. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Toopicky said:

 

Wow, that is hardly "ground breaking" news .... this site work is necessary for just about any type of modern development, and the lab and office space could be used by almost any  company.

 

So is East River building infrastructure not "ground breaking" news? Just because it happens in all projects doesn't mean its not momentous or "ground breaking". All things have humble beginnings and this is just that, the beginning. These things don't just happen over night, and if you were in the industry you would know this. I'm currently working on a project that isn't the greatest of all time, and in fact to many would seem very mundane, but because I've been on it now for a year, and it still is slogging through the design process I'll be relieved when it breaks ground. I can't even imagine the prep work, the bureaucracy, and negotiating it took to even make this happen in the first place. This is a big deal even if its just roads. Where roads are laid is where the people will go. They even say it in the article itself. Just building the infrastructure will be the first step into making this more possible than ever before because of how expensive a barrier to entry laying out infrastructure can be. They aren't thinking about right now. They are thinking about the future, and that is how they will pitch this to everyone. Its just roads now, but think about what the future will hold. Lots of possibilities.

 

14 minutes ago, Purdueenginerd said:

This project (the spaceport in general) doesnt pass my sniff test. There's clearly a future for private ventures into space, but right now the economic of space flights appear to break down into 3 groups. 

 

1.) Governments, Spycraft, Defense, scientific research. 

2.) Telecommunications 

3.) Stupidly Rich Tourists. 

 

To me, Private companies are mostly going after contracts in the 1 and 2 categories. Is there any indications that there's sufficient demand to build a spaceport, much less in Houston?  I dont know... convince me I'm wrong. I'm a Star Trek fan, so I want to like this, but call me a healthy skeptic. 

 

 

 

I'm in the same boat. Not because of this project, but because of where we are at as a country today. People are just to focused on the numerous wicked problems we have in culture, the economy, and in government to really even consider anything beyond. Going to space is something that will have to be a priority in this country again if we really want to go further ahead, and the national consciousness is just nowhere near there. Its why though I like guys like Elon Musk. He doesn't care about any of that. He has a dream and is going to do it no matter what. As long as there is that one person who is that daring then eventually others will take notice. If he can send a Tesla into space just for fun then the possibilities are endless with that guy. Even with that being said the argument of national consciousness is a real thing that can not be ignored. We aren't in the 60's where people were inspired by the moon landings which made everyone want to be astronauts or scientists or engineers. Today everyone wants to be a youtube star, or be famous. Not like they are bad things, but these don't get us closer to the stars, or build a nation to get to that Star Trek dream. Your healthy skepticism is valid, but I wouldn't place it on the development itself, but the trend, and outside forces its trying to go against.

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1 hour ago, Purdueenginerd said:

This project (the spaceport in general) doesnt pass my sniff test. There's clearly a future for private ventures into space, but right now the economic of space flights appear to break down into 3 groups. 

 

1.) Governments, Spycraft, Defense, scientific research. 

2.) Telecommunications 

3.) Stupidly Rich Tourists. 

 

To me, Private companies are mostly going after contracts in the 1 and 2 categories. Is there any indications that there's sufficient demand to build a spaceport, much less in Houston?  I dont know... convince me I'm wrong. I'm a Star Trek fan, so I want to like this, but call me a healthy skeptic. 

 

 

 

You are correct about spaceports in general. Last year Wired had an interesting article about the boom and bust of spaceports in general. https://www.wired.com/story/americas-spaceport-boom-is-outpacing-the-need-to-go-to-space/?CNDID=13660475&mbid=nl_090518_daily_list3_p4

 

Essentially, there is an oversupply of spaceports in the US. And it is correct to question the need for Houston's Spaceport, especially when the airport system could use funds for sooo many other projects. I'm afraid we may have another Bayport Cruise Terminal fiasco on our hands. 

 

At this point, we have the FAA horizonal license, so I am all for utilizing it. However, I'm not sure why we need to spend so much money on capital costs for a port without tenants. IMO, the best play (in Houston) of the three options above is number three. Stupidly rich tourists. You don't need any new construction. Just market Space Center Houston as the "terminal" and have the tourists ride in one those silver Airstreams to the runway at Ellington. It's marketing gold for the city. But of course we will not take advantage of it. We don't need a bunch of tenants at the port. We just need -one- to operate the space tourism flights. 

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