Sending people and satellites into space has become somewhat commonplace in today’s world. Arranging those launches is no easy task. A lot goes on behind the scenes to ensure that these launches can take place as scheduled. For instance, the FAA (Federal Aviation Association) oversees all US airspace and attempts to ensure there are as few as possible air travel disruptions whether it be due to weather, a military event, or perhaps a technological glitch. They not only manage the regular commercial flights across the nation but also the space launches whether for people or satellites or supplies. They license and regulate launches and reentries as they come about.
Space travel and launches used to be a national or international enterprise. No longer is it merely nation-states racing against one another, but private organizations rushing to get into space. As you might imagine this only complicates the use of our air space. The FAA even has a special sector that oversees space travel. As you might imagine they keep busy.
In 2022 the FAA logged ninety-two space missions in the US alone. That was an increase over the fiscal year 2021 of thirty-three percent. As you can see the interest in space is a rapidly growing industry and is only projected to increase over the coming decades as technology and innovation in that sector improve.
Launch sites and facilities are cropping up across the globe, but they present any number of environmental and other factors that must also be considered. Airspace near these launch sites must be closed briefly to allow the launch of rockets or spacecraft. This delays flights on the ground and in the air in the commercial sector and that has a waterfall effect across the board. Some flights have even had to be rerouted due to launches, but rerouting costs the airlines more, and that cost is passed along to the consumer.
Some airlines are asking for emerging space players to help keep the airspace safer by contributing to the cost of air traffic control systems. The FAA says they do not keep a tally of how many flights are rerouted due to space launches or reentries. However, it is worth noting that over time the FAA has been fast to reopen airspace while maintaining safety for all in the skies.
In 2022 the FAA licensed fifty new launch spaces in Florida alone. They approved thirteen in California, four in Texas, two in Virginia, and one in Alaska. Worldwide nine new launch sites were approved in New Zealand. Even with all of the new launch sites coming on board, the competition for launches is stiff.
One organization thinks it may have the edge in this dilemma. Their name is The Spaceport Company and they have created an innovative platform to launch and recover space rockets from sea with the blessing of the FAA and the US Coast Guard.
The Spaceport Company managed to successfully launch a multiple rocket demonstration from US territorial waters in the Gulf of Mexico on May 23rd, 2023 aboard a mobile floating platform. What they hope to do long term is to lessen the load of land-based launch facilities and get satellites or people into space faster. How do they do this?
The Spaceport Company develops mobile, sea-based launch and landing sites for use within the US territorial waters and airspace. They believe this platform will be less risky to the public and the environment than land-based launching and landing sites while also being able to provide for launching and landing higher capacity rockets. They are eager to work with both private and public sector organizations in this regard.
The Spaceport Company has a very storied team of leaders and advisors. They are well-versed and have a proven record of being able to assist your organization in applying for licensure with the FAA for mobile launches and recovery. For more information in this regard please visit their website https://thespaceportcompany.com/#contact
The Spaceport Company mobile launch platform.