Deja Vu on the Rocket Plane Plans… Take Off From One Island, Land on Another

Speaking at the FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference in Crystal City, Virginia, earlier this month, Rocketplane Global vice president Chuck Lauer discussed his company’s plans to operate its XP suborbital spaceplane from Hawaii as the first of its “secondary” spaceports it would use after its home base in Oklahoma. However, instead of taking off and landing at the same airport, as it would in Oklahoma, the XP would take off from one island and land on another. “It will be the first licensed point-to-point suborbital spaceflight corridor,” he said. “You’re not taking off and landing at the same point.”

Under the notional plan Lauer discussed at the conference, the XP would take off under jet power from Kona International Airport on the Big Island and, after igniting its rocket motor for the suborbital part of the flight, land on Oahu. While Honolulu International Airport would be one possible landing site, Lauer said later that an alternative was Kalaeloa Airport, the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station on the west side of Oahu. The total trip length would be about the same as flights from the Oklahoma Spaceport, where the XP would take off and fly away from the spaceport before turning around and flying the suborbital part of the flight on the way back. “It’s essentially the same total ground track that we fly in Oklahoma, except that we’re taking the hairpin and unfolding it into a straight line,” he said…

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All this recent talk about the Rocket Planes and Space Tourism.

I guess no one read my blog in August when I blogged:

Rocket Plane and NASA Want Hawaii as their Liftoff Location

rocketplaneOr my blog in December:

20 Years Later Still No Spaceports South of Volcanoes National Park

If/when this buggah ever comes to fruition… they better give me a free ride for all the publicity I’m giving them. :roll: