Oklahoma has become the newest member of the U.S. commercial spaceport development industry. Along with New Mexico and California, work is under way now in the Sooner state to build the necessary infrastructure to support private space travel and stimulate other commercial space enterprise .
The Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority (OSIDA) was issued a Launch Site Operator License June 12 , becoming the second inland U.S. spaceport on the books.
The Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) issued for the OSIDA-run spaceport, which will be based at the Clinton-Sherman Industrial Airpark, near Burns Flat .
A corridor within the National Airspace has been defined for spaceport operations to be conducted, which is likely to serve as an incentive for new developers, according to the AST.
“We are extremely pleased to see the successful results of years of hard work by OSIDA and FAA/AST in approving the license for the Oklahoma Spaceport,” said Chuck Lauer, vice president of business development for Rocketplane, based in Oklahoma City . “This is the first time that an overland space flight launch corridor has ever been approved outside of restricted military air space, and it means that commercial human space flight is now open for business in Oklahoma. “
Rocketplane is advancing its suborbital XP vehicle that can accommodate a pilot and three passengers. The fighter-sized craft is powered by both turbojet engines and a rocket engine and will haul paying customers up to the edge of space.