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Major Aerospace Firm Wants To Be Part Of Houston Spaceport

The deal comes as officials await final approval on a spaceport license for Ellington Airport.

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Sierra Nevada Corporation Vice-President of Space Systems Mark Sirangelo explains how their reusable space vehicle operates.

 

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Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Uncrewed Dream Chaser with Cargo Module and visible cargo. Image credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation

Officials have now signed an agreement allowing Colorado-based aerospace company Sierra Nevada to use the Ellington Spaceport as a landing site. The company has developed a reusable space vehicle that’s designed to travel to the International Space Station.

Mark Sirangelo is Corporate Vice-President of SNC’s Space Systems. He says they’re eager to put their design into commercial use.

“It’s a very flexible design with a lot of capabilities. We’re retired virtually all the major risks as we’re going forward with the program. It has a lot of uses beyond the cargo capability,” Sirangelo says.

The FAA is currently reviewing the Houston Airport System’s application for a commercial spaceport license. A final decision is expected in June.

In the meantime, Ellington General Manager Arturo Machuca says they’re also working to lure other companies.

“Just like aviation was an integral part of the last century’s economy, we strongly believe that commercial spaceflight will be the equivalent to this century,” Machuca says.

Sierra Nevada says its new vehicle will allow for the quick return of space station research projects. 

 

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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