Offshore Spaceport Advances with First-ever Launch in U.S. Waters

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Insider Brief:

  • The Spaceport Company successfully tested its mobile floating spaceport prototype by conducting the first-ever commercial rocket launches from U.S. territorial waters.
  • Operating in U.S. waters and airspace allows the company to offer higher launch capacity with less risk to the public and fewer environmental impacts.
  • The offshore spaceport demonstration successfully tested all the procedures necessary to conduct an orbital-class launch.

PRESS RELEASE — Gulf of Mexico / May 23, 2023 — The Spaceport Company successfully tested its mobile floating spaceport prototype yesterday by conducting the first-ever commercial rocket launches from U.S. territorial waters. Multiple rockets were launched in one day from a modified ship located in the Gulf of Mexico. The offshore spaceport demonstration successfully tested all the procedures necessary to conduct an orbital-class launch: regulatory approvals from the FAA and US Coast Guard, scheduling, control of public access, range surveillance, hazard clearance, airspace integration, anomaly response, and remote launch vehicle ignition at sea. The demonstration was conducted on-schedule and within budget, proving the potential for offshore spaceports to ease congestion at existing launch ranges and expedite delivery of satellites to orbit.

The Spaceport Company is an emerging leader in the development of mobile, sea-based launch, and landing site systems and, with this demonstration, earned the distinction of being the first company to conduct commercial rocket launches from a vessel located in U.S. territorial waters and within the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS). Operating in U.S. waters and airspace allows The Spaceport Company to offer higher launch capacity with less risk to the public and fewer environmental impacts than competing launch sites on land or overseas.

“This demonstration provided numerous lessons which will be incorporated into our next project: building a sea-based spaceport capable of orbital operations,” said CEO and Founder Tom Marotta. “We are working towards offering the U.S.’s first truly commercial spaceport, which can best support the rapidly growing commercial launch industry and alleviate the burdens on government ranges.”

Marotta added:

“I’d like to thank all our partners who made this demonstration possible, particularly the Coast Guard, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Security Innovation Capital program at the Defense Innovation Unit.”

The Spaceport Company’s proprietary intellectual property enables it to offer reliable, scalable launch site solutions for customers in the commercial and governmental sectors. With the success of its prototype, The Spaceport Company demonstrated the capabilities of its technology and positioned itself as a key player in the nascent spaceport industry.

SOURCE: The Spaceport Company

Featured image: Test barge. Credit: The Spaceport Company

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