Dec 23, 2013
John Burr, Editor-in-Chief-
Jacksonville Business Journal
Generation Orbit Launch Services Inc., an Atlanta-based commercial space launch provider, has signed a memorandum of understanding to operate a launch facility at Cecil Spaceport on Jacksonville's Westside.
“This is a major development for JAA and Cecil Spaceport, but also for the commercial space industry as a whole,” said Todd Lindner, the Jacksonville Aviation Authority's senior manager of aviation planning and spaceport development. “Generation Orbit’s GOLauncher program and others like it prove that the commercial space business is viable and growing. And this agreement demonstrates that Cecil Spaceport is an ideal location for such horizontal launch endeavors.”
Generation Orbit, a.k.a. Go, will develop a suborbital space launch platform at Cecil, according to a news release, to conduct microgravity and hypersonic research for a dedicated orbital launch platform for nano and micro satellites
Test flights are expected to begin at Cecil as early as 2014, the release from JAA stated, with operational launches forecast to begin in 2015 and 2016.
As part of the memorandum of understanding signed, 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.
Additionally, GO will have access to runway facilities, rocket test areas, coordination with FAA range authorities and air traffic control.
JAA spokesman Michael Stewart said the agency is still negotiating the terms of a lease with Generation Orbit Launch Services.