Spaceport news update

Some developments at commercial spaceport projects in the US and Europe:

  • On Friday the Swedish government officially announced Spaceport Sweden, including an agreement to have Virgin Galactic conduct suborbital tourist flights from the facility near Kiruna. According to, the government doesn’t plan to invest any money into the site, saying that there is sufficient infrastructure there now to support SpaceShipTwo flights. However, the government has agreed to establish a regulatory framework similar to what exists in the US to permit those flights to take place, and will tackle export control issues as well on behald of Virgin.
  • New Mexico governor Bill Richardson is scheduled to make an appearance in Las Cruces later today, but not for his nascent presidential campaign. Instead, Richardson will be stumping for the local tax referenda that would, if approved, provide the local share of funding for Spaceport America.
  • Officials in Ohio are still in negotiations to lure PlanetSpace to an airport outside Columbus that would be the landing site for the company’s Silver Dart vehicle, as well as host manufacturing. One quibble: the article claims that “According to the most recent study by the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, commercial space transportation and related industries accounted for more than $98 million in economic activity in 2004.” In fact, that report put the total at $98 billion. Million, billion, who’s counting?

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