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Topic: Utah Spaceport (Read 945 times)
Likes Given: 105
11/22/2023 11:49 pm »
Hey all! With the recent landing of Osiris Rex in Dugway, Utah and the launch of IFT-2 I've gotten to thinking about where in the future we would locate spaceports when space travel was truly common. Particularly considering SpaceX's plan to potentially do site to site transport in the future.
Anyways, I was wondering what all of you all might think about the feasibility of a spaceport in Utah. I was trying to think of where one might place an inland spaceport in the US that was far from occupied areas, had generally safe debris avoidance zones, and was also close to some major transport hub.
With all those requirements I figured Utah was a decent idea. You have the Great Salt Lake and Dugway proving grounds both as very large areas with minimal human activity that could host a spaceport. Also close by you have Salt Lake International Airport, which could allow travelers to make a "last leg" of a space transport to another state without a direct port. I figure with the constant noise of SLC International as well you might not annoy people too bad with a bit of extra noise from rocket launches an hour away.
Anyways folks, just thought it would be an interesting idea to be considered by people with better knowledge than I about such things. Thanks!
Enthusiast since the Redstones
Marina del Rey, California, USA
Likes Given: 7340
Re: Utah Spaceport
Reply #1 on:
11/23/2023 12:47 am »
I assume you're inquiring about suborbital launches, such as those conducted by Virgin Galactic at the New Mexico Spaceport. However, I don't think Dugway, which is an Army military bombing range, would be willing to allow public and commercial use of its land. Additionally, commercial air traffic at Salt Lake City International Airport is another major concern, as it is a heavily used hub for numerous airlines and air traffic lanes crisscrossing to major cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Denver. I have attached a screenshot of the current air traffic in the area for your reference. Given these factors, it would be detrimental for the FAA to issue an avoidance notice for launches in the area you are referring to that would interfere with these major flyways and delays in thousands of passengers and flight schedules.
Another vast uninhabited area, the Great Salt Lake, that you mentioned is managed by the state of Utah as a state park. I don't see them giving access to activity.
These is just but a couple of many reasons that would make a proposal for a spaceport launching suborbital or orbital missions unfeasible. Furthermore, launching orbital missions eastward would result in overflight issues with many large cities, such as Denver, as well as other states and federal/military installations. This is why most launches in the US are over water. Even Vandenberg Space Force Base doesn't launch directly eastward.
The FAA's number one priority is public safety. The launch and landing of large vehicles used as Starships could pose negative consequences, including possible debris, whether intentional or unintentional.
I'm not saying that safety issues could be reevaluated in the future as vehicles become more dependable and safe. However, in my 70 years of being a space enthusiast, I don't see that happening anytime soon.
I'm sure that many other more qualified members will chime in if needed.
If you haven't otherwise been acknowledged, please let me welcome you to the forum and enjoy. Your recent posts indicate your enthusiasm for the space industry and are "liked" by other readers.
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Last Edit: 11/23/2023 12:59 am by catdlr
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