FAA announced nearly $500,000 in new Space Transportation Infrastructure matching grants to three projects located in California, Colorado and Hawaii to foster development and expansion of commercial space transportation infrastructure.
The matching grants are $250,000 to the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism; $200,000 to Colorado's Front Range Airport Authority; and $23,750 to the East Kern Airport District at California's Mojave Spaceport. The Hawaii and Colorado grants both will be used to conduct environmental and other feasibility analyses for a potential FAA Commercial Launch Site Operator's License. The grant to the East Kern Airport District will be used for acquisition of a "pyrolance," a dual firefighting piercing system to aid in rapid response to rescue emergencies and to fires involving launch vehicles.
The federal matching grants fund up to 50 percent of the total project cost in conjunction with state and local government funding. In addition, the grants require that a minimum of 10 percent of the total project cost come from private funding, FAA said.
FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation is responsible for licensing, regulating and promoting the commercial space transportation industry. Since the office was created in 1984, the agency has issued licenses for more than 200 launches, licensed the operation of eight FAA-approved launch sites known as spaceports and has helped ensure that no loss of life or serious injury has been associated with these efforts, according to the announcement.
For more information on FAA's commercial space transportation activities a fact sheet is available at http://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsId=11559.