Spaceport Colorado signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Swiss Space Systems, an aerospace company that designs and engineers suborbital launch systems, formalizing collaborative plans to establish a U.S. launch site hub at Front Range Airport near Aurora, Colorado
Front Range Airport, located in northeast Aurora, Colorado, and 6 miles from Denver International Airport, has been identified as the site for a Colorado Spaceport by the Office of Economic Development and International Trade and Spaceport officials.
Colorado is in the right location and has the right resources for a horizontal launch spaceport, because it’s connected to the 10th largest airport in the world. It’s geographically located in the center of a transportation network with a close urban center and surrounding open areas for future development, Spaceport officials said. Denver International Airport is a supporter of Front Range Airport, the proposed location for the spaceport, and has committed funding to assist with the final phase of the licensing process.
S3, a Swiss-headquartered company, is now developing its presence in the United States to serve the North American market. By designating Colorado as a location for S3’s transformative expansion within the United States, the state is positioned to remain a global aerospace competitor.
“We believe Spaceport Colorado will make an ideal hub for our U.S. expansion and will complete what we are doing elsewhere in the country and globally,” said Pascal Jaussi, CEO and founder of Swiss Space Systems. “The dynamic aerospace industry, pro-business climate and innovative spirit will foster the growth of our technologies and operations within the United States.”
“In collaborating with S3, we’re adding a new asset to what already exists,”said Ken Lawson, Interim Director of Aviation. “S3’s profoundly important decision to bring operations to Spaceport Colorado paves the way for additional innovative aerospace companies to relocate to Adams County and Colorado.”
After a Memorandum of Agreement is signed later this year, S3 intends to deploy a business model that focuses on small satellites and research oriented micro-gravity operations, and eventually offer satellite deployment and commercial space activities.
Spaceport Colorado has cleared all initial hurdles in the licensing process and is currently conducting preliminary planning and feasibility studies.A spaceport license is expected to be awarded in 2014.
Spaceport Colorado’s vision is to become America’s hub for commercial space transportation, research and development. Horizontal launch spaceports are developing around the world and will become the foundation for a global suborbital transportation network, officials said.