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Monday, May 24, 2004
Space.com: Spaceport to Rise in California's Mojave Desert
A desert airdrome in Mojave, California is on the final glide path to getting government approval for becoming an inland gateway to space.
The Federal Aviation Administration's Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation (FAA/AST) is expected next month to certify that the Mojave Airport Civilian Flight Test Center as a non-federal spaceport to handle horizontal launches of reusable spacecraft.
As such, Mojave Airport can offer a range of launch and landing services making it a hub for high-flying craft intended to help spark public space travel. The Mojave Airport is located approximately 100 miles north of Los Angeles, in southeastern Kern County, along the western edge of the Mojave Desert.
The site is already home port for several enterprising suborbital space projects.
Most notably is Scaled Composites, builder and operator of the White Knight/SpaceShipOne piloted vehicles. XCOR Aerospace is also based at the Mojave Airport, engaged in testing its piloted EZ-rocket as part of an expansive reusable rocket engine and rocket-powered vehicle program. Other firms, such as Orbital Sciences Corporation and Interorbital Systems, are part of the space scene at Mojave Airport.
The "up-and-going" commercial space launch market is not only spawning new startup firms and fostering inventive technology. Deep-pocketed venture capitalists, such as Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, find themselves frequenting the Mojave Airport. Read More
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