JOHNSON SPACE CENTER — The Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership will have a public discussion on the future of commercial spaceflight Sept. 4 at Space Center Houston.
Much of the discussion will revolve around a proposal to turn Ellington Airport into a licensed spaceport. Last month, the Houston City Council approved a $718,900 contract authorizing consultants to push for a license that would allow the airport to serve as a hub for commercial spaceflight.
Houston Airport System Director Mario Diaz, the keynote speaker at the event, has said Ellington could obtain a license from the Federal Aviation Administration next year.
The FAA has licensed eight commercial spaceports in the U.S., and Diaz sees Ellington as a potential port for space tourism and other commercial space endeavors.
It would cost somewhere between $48 million to $122 million to equip Ellington to launch space vehicles, according to a 2012 study conducted by the airport system.
As the home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center and other aerospace and commercial flight companies, the Bay Area is particularly well-suited for a commercial spaceport, Diaz has said.
Other panelists will include former astronauts and leaders in the commercial spaceflight industry.
The Commercial Spaceflight Federation and Barrios Technology are also sponsoring the public discussion.
At a glance
WHAT: Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership’s public discussion on commercial spaceflight with keynote speaker Mario Diaz
WHEN: 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 4
WHERE: Space Center Houston, 1601 NASA Parkway
Contact reporter Alex Macon at 409-683-5244 or firstname.lastname@example.org.