Headlines > News > California legislature acts to invest in spaceport

California legislature acts to invest in spaceport

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:53 pm
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More information related to this press release: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/12359455/#060418b

SACRAMENTO — Seeking to maintain its leadership position in the global space enterprise community, the California Legislature agreed today to invest $11 million in the Mojave Spaceport. Noting competition from other states and nations, the Senate Committee on Transportation voted on a bipartisan 8-1 vote in favor of Senate Bill 1671 by State Senator Roy Ashburn that will ensure a competitive advantage for the nation’s first, and only, inland spaceport.

“California has long been a leader in space,” stated Hon. Andrea Seastrand, the Executive Director of the California Space Authority (CSA). “Our talented workers have designed, tested and manufactured most of the nation’s historic space hardware, including the Space Shuttle. But technology has advanced greatly since the Space Shuttle was first built. And consumer demand for commercial space applications has grown considerably. The industry finds itself on a cusp of an entirely new economic sector. Space tourism is a reality, and the state, or nation, that incubates it successfully will reap the rewards of a booming job and revenue-creating machine.”

The measure would establish a loan mechanism for the East Kern County Airport District, which is home to the Mojave Spaceport, through the State’s Infrastructure Bank for the purposes of constructing research hangers and an astronaut education terminal at the Mojave Spaceport site. Designated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an inland spaceport some years ago, the Mojave Spaceport already has a space infrastructure on which to build. The hanger and terminal complex will augment the existing facilities and help its management market the facility with even greater success. Currently a dozen or so space enterprise tenants already call the Mojave Spaceport home, including the Rutan Brothers and their now-famous SpaceShipOne team.

“California’s Legislature sees the potential of space enterprise and their vote today is an indication of their commitment to the future of this industry in our state,” concluded Seastrand.

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