Proposed Houston Spaceport Lands Private Space Plane Partner

As reported on space.com.

HOUSTON — Houston has landed a partner in its bid to establish its own spaceport in the form of a private spaceflight company that may someday land its mini space shuttle at the facility.

The Houston Airport System (HAS), which last year revealed plans to convert Ellington Field into “Houston Spaceport,” signed a letter of intent with the Sierra Nevada Corp. to explore landing the company’s Dream Chaser spacecraft at the proposed facility. The Dream Chaser is one of three commercial vehicles now vying to fly NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

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“For all the [space program] work that has been done in Houston, there is one thing that hasn’t happened, and that is [a spacecraft] hasn’t returned here,” Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president and head of Sierra Nevada’s space systems division, said at a news conference on April 10 at Rice University Space Institute in Houston. “We thought maybe there is a way we can do that.”

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