FAA allows commercial spaceflights out of Oklahoma Spaceport

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Atlantis taking off on STS-27.jpg

The FAA has issued a license for commercial spaceflight operations to the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority (OSIDA). The OSIDA will oversee the operations of "suborbital, reusable launch vehicles" out of the Clinton-Sherman Industrial Airpark spaceport in Burns Flat, Oklahoma. Testing at the spacesport is expected to begin sometime next year.

Bill Khourie, director of OSIDA said, "This is a tremendous opportunity for Oklahoma. The benefits are just enormous as to what can branch out from this."

Rocketplane Kistler, an Oklahoma-based company, has started production of spacecraft and is working on the final steps of its license applications. Rocketplan Kistler plans on a "fairly extensive flight test program" in 2007 and commercial flights by 2008.

A Texas-based company has also expressed interest in the Oklahoma Spaceport.

Other United States spaceports include California Spaceport, Mojave Airport (California), Kodiak Launch Complex (Alaska), Spaceport Florida, and Virginia Spaceport. A spaceport is also planned in South New Mexico, the Southwest Regional Spaceport.

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