Sun, Jul 11, 2010
Site Now Open To Pursue Commercial Space Launches
The FAA has approved a Launch Site Operator's License for Space
Florida to facilitate commercial launches from Space Launch Complex
46 (SLC-46). The license went into affect July 1, 2010. With the
FAA License now approved, Space Florida may actively pursue
commercial customers for launch commitments at SLC-46. Full Complex
readiness is anticipated within 12 months of a formal customer
"This is great news for Florida," stated Florida Lt. Governor
Jeff Kottkamp. "Commercial customers now have an additional option
for launch from our Nation's premier spaceport. This announcement
just reinforces the fact that our state is rapidly facing the
emerging space market and is ready for business."
"We are very pleased with the speed at which this license was
approved," added Space Florida VP of Spaceport Operations Mark
Bontrager. "Having a positive working partnership with the FAA - as
well as the US Air Force and Navy - made this possible. We look
forward to readying the site for launch."
Launch Complex 46
Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin and ATK announced their
intention to return the Athena launch vehicle to the marketplace.
Promotional materials put out by both companies list Florida as one
of four potential launch sites. Space Florida is also in
discussions with additional customers that are showing interest in
In May, Space Florida received Department of Defense (DoD)
approval on the Explosive Site Plan for the complex. Additionally,
in February, Space Florida received the Real Property License for
SLC-46 from the U.S. Air Force. At that time, a Joint Use Agreement
was also signed by the Navy, which shares utilization of the
property for occasional testing exercises.
To date, corrosion control has been conducted on the Mobile
Service Tower at SLC-46. A timeline for additional Launch Complex
infrastructure build-out will be determined once a customer
commitment is received. The last active use of SLC-46 was in 1999
when RocSat 1 was launched on an Athena I rocket.
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