18 June 2004
Other - General (Good)
A Spaceport Is Born
Ground observers gather
by Alan Breakstone
by Alan Breakstone

Just a few days before SpaceShipOne's historic spaceflight attempt, Mojave Civilian Flight Test Center in California has received its historic license. Mojave is now America's first inland spaceport. The airport received Launch Site Operator License # LSO 04 009 on June 17, 2004.

Excitement is building in and around the newly designated commercial spaceport as preparations for SpaceShipOne's first suborbital attempt enter their final days. Mojave Spaceport reports that viewer parking for observing the flight is $10, and RV space rental is $40 a night. RV spaces were still available as of June 17, 2004. Space tourism is not just for the people in flight. Ground observers are a part of the action as well.

Motel space, however, is mostly booked in Mojave, California, and rooms are becoming scarce in the communities around it. According to Hobbyspace, the spaceport is preparing for an onslaught of 30,000 visitors.

In a recent article, space.com reported a "cosmic Woodstock" atmosphere growing at Mojave. According to the Ansari X-Prize Web site, all are welcome to an informal tailgate party sponsored by the National Space Society (NSS) on the night before take-off.  The space rave will be near the RV area at the spaceport.

The thousands of visitors at Mojave and the millions who can watch via CNN, will see history in the making this Monday. The dream of large-scale space tourism is a giant step closer to reality. That step is being made at America's first commercial spaceport.
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Alan Breakstone 18 June 2004
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