Inland spaceports seek ways to host orbital launches

ORLANDO, Fla. — With congestion growing at the nation’s major launch sites in California and Florida, operators of inland spaceports are seeking creative ways to host orbital launches.
The number of commercial launches licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration more than tripled between fiscal year 2020, with 31 licensed launches, and fiscal year 2023, with 106. The FAA is forecasting 111 launches in fiscal year 2024, according to data presented by Pam Underwood, director of the FAA’s Office of Spaceports, in a Jan. 29 presentation at the annual meeting of the Global Spaceport Alliance here.
That growth, though, has largely been at federal ranges: Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and Kennedy Space Center in Florida and Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. Federal ranges accounted for 51% of licensed launches in fiscal year 2020, growing to 78% in 2023.
“Why? Infrastructure, capabilities, services, are all readily available at those locations,” s

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