Generation Orbit Becomes Cecil Spaceport’s First Tenant
[Via Satellite 12-27-13] Florida-based Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) has signed its first tenant agreement at Cecil Spaceport with Generation Orbit Launch Services (GO). GO, based in Atlanta, will use Cecil’s hangar space, its 12,500-foot runway and the safe flight paths that have already been coordinated with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), among other things, to support its commercial flight and horizontal launch program.
As part of the memorandum of understanding signed on Dec. 18, 2013, JAA will make available to GO at a mutually negotiated rate, hangar space and payload integration facilities, rocket storage facilities, office space for GO crew and staff, range equipment and launch command and control facilities and equipment. The company will also have access to runway facilities, rocket test areas, coordination with FAA range authorities and air traffic control.
GO plans to develop a suborbital space launch platform to conduct microgravity and hypersonic research (GOLauncher 1) and later, a dedicated orbital launch platform for nano and micro satellites (GOLauncher 2). Test flights are expected to begin at Cecil as early as 2014, with operational launches forecast to begin in 2015 and 2016.
“GOLauncher is a dedicated nanosatellite launch vehicle that uses a Gulfstream business jet as the carrier aircraft. Our system’s small size makes Cecil an excellent choice for our concept of operations,” said John Olds, CEO, Generation Orbit.
The agreement between JAA and GO is for an initial period of two years, with the option to renew for three, one-year terms. JAA intends to make additional investments to support space launch systems like GO in the next two years.