GSA at Capitol Hill

GSA Capitol Hill Space Advocates Program The Growing Importance of Spaceports to the World Economy

GSA Capitol Hill Space Advocates Program 

The Growing Importance of Spaceports to the World Economy

On June 12, 2024, the Global Spaceport Alliance went to Capitol Hill for the first time to inform members of Congress and their staffs about the growing importance of spaceports to the world economy. The day’s activities began with a session moderated  by GSA Chairman Dr. George Nield. The program included representatives from four very successful spaceports, including Rob Long, CEO of Space Florida; retired Major General Ted Mercer, CEO and Executive Director of the Virginia Spaceport Authority; Scott McLaughlin, Executive Director of New Mexico Spaceport Authority at Spaceport America; and Arturo Machuca, Director of the Houston Spaceport. The meeting was held in the Rayburn House Office Building and attended by a capacity gathering of Hill staffers and interested industry observers.

Pictures and t-Minus episode with the recording are located below. 

Discussed during the session were all of the exciting things happening in the commercial space arena worldwide, such as the increase in the number of launches and human space flights, the growth of the global space economy, and many other topics. Dr. Nield articulated some of the areas where GSA feels that Congress could really help in terms of support for spaceports and continuing the growth in the global space economy. Specifically, Dr. Nield summarized the provisions of the Commercial Spaceflight Operations Act, a proposed bill that he has developed. The provisions include:

  1. The establishment of a Commercial Space Transportation Administration, where GSA recommends moving the office of commercial space transportation out from under the FAA and having it report directly to the Secretary of Transportation at DOT.
  2. Creation of a commercial spaceflight research alliance that is inclusive, international in scope, and very collaborative. This alliance would work on issues particularly important to commercial space, as opposed to what the Department of Defense and NASA do in their respective sectors.
  3. Adoption of a National Spaceport Policy that would support the development of a network of spaceports, encompassing those owned and operated by the government, commercial spaceports, and privately owned and operated launch and landing sites. This policy would be a significant step towards not only sustaining the growth of the global space economy, but also ensuring access to space for all users, and it could bring about substantial benefits.
  4. Promotion of spaceport infrastructure funding, whether from government grants or private sources, given how important infrastructure is to all modes of transportation,
  5. Improving human space flight training by allowing people to buy tickets to fly in the back seat of high performance or former military aircraft. That is something that is allowed in other countries, and NASA continues to use such aircraft to train its astronauts. The policies should be changed to allow that type of training to be done commercially in the United States.
  6. Establishment of a goal to support the development of point to point transportation, with all the potential benefits that will have for our international spaceport community.

Click the buttons for the complete draft of the Commercial Spaceflight Operations Act:

Following the Hill briefing, the delegation of spaceport executives joined Dr. Nield in four meetings with members of Congress and their staffs. Dr. Nield led the discussions, in which he primarily shared the provisions of his Commercial Spaceflight Operations Act. The group first met with Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics. Senior staff of the Subcommittee Brent Blevins and Tom Hammond joined the meeting. Rep. Babin showed keen interest and expressed his strong support for commercial space activities. The delegation next met with staffers from Rep. Eric Sorensen (D-IL), the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, and Rep. Gabe Vasquez (D-NM), whose congressional district includes Spaceport America. Finally, the group met with Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), who serves on the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics and whose congressional district includes NASA Kennedy Space Center. Rep. Posey was very interested in our legislative initiative and was particularly supportive of the provision on commercial human spaceflight training.

Overall, this was a very successful day for GSA and its members and supporters.  GSA is committed to continuing its  engagement with government decision makers and other stakeholders and plan to organize similar events in the future.

ABOUT THE CAPITAL HILL EVENT

Morgan Stanley recently projected that the space economy would grow to $1 Trillion by 2040. Contributing to this growth is the rise of spaceports across the United States and worldwide. The FAA has licensed 14 spaceports in recent years – with more applications in process. These facilities not only provide, or will provide, launch and re-entry sites for an expanding commercial space sector but also foster innovation and economic growth in the regions they serve. By distributing launch capabilities beyond traditional hubs, spaceports alleviate congestion and cater to the diverse needs of various space constituencies. Ultimately, the growth of spaceports strengthens the U.S. position as a leader in space commerce and positions it to capitalize on the vast potential of the burgeoning commercial space economy. 

In this program, the Global Spaceport Alliance will host a panel of spaceport operators to discuss the value that their facilities bring to the regions they serve. They will also speak to their challenges in establishing a firm foothold in the national economy. For example, there is a need for a clear national spaceport policy that would provide funding for spaceport infrastructure, just as we have done for airports, seaports, railways, and highways. The panel will also discuss potential changes to laws, policies, and regulations that would provide support for commercial space transportation research, human spaceflight training, and prospects for point-to-point transportation through space. 

PANEL

  • Moderator: Dr. George Nield, GSA Chair
  • Rob Long, CEO, Space Florida
  • Maj. Gen. (Retired) Ted Mercer, CEO and Executive Director, Virginia Spaceport Authority
  • Scott McLaughlin, Executive Director, Spaceport America
  • Arturo Machuca, Director, Houston Spaceport
Dr. George Nield

Moderator:
Dr. George Nield
GSA Chair

Global Spaceport Alliance

Rob Long
CEO
Space Florida

Maj. Ted Mercer

Maj. Gen. (Retired) Ted Mercer
CEO & Exec. Director
Virginia Spaceport Authority

Scott Mclaughlin - Spaceport America

Scott McLaughlin
Executive Director
New Mexico Spaceport Authority

Arturo Machuca - Houston Spaceport

Arturo Machuca
Director
Houston Spaceport

NEWS

Listen to N2K T-Minus Deep Space weekend edition to here the recording of this meeting on Capitol Hill. 

Listen to the recording below by clicking the blue play button. 

ABOUT GLOBAL SPACEPORT ALLIANCE

Established in 2015, the Global Spaceport Alliance has become the largest network of spaceports in the world. Members include spaceport operators, suppliers, and government and academic entities involved in the commercial space sector. GSA offers members timely access to information, the ability to engage with key decision makers, and the opportunity to participate in working groups targeting specific areas of interest to the spaceport ecosystem.

GSA Webinar Series-UK Space Clusters

GSA Webinar Series: Creating Spaceport Space Clusters - A look at U.K.’s space cluster development for Economic, Research, and Workforce Opportunities around spaceports

Creating
Spaceport
Space Clusters:

A look at U.K.’s space cluster development for Economic, Research, and Workforce Opportunities around spaceports

The United Kingdom has emerged in the last ten years as an important spacefaring nation. In its national space policy statement, the U.K. recognizes that space development will be a significant economic driver for the nation well into the future. With four spaceports in operation (three are GSA Members) and three more in the planning stage, the U.K. has a track record of engaging industry stakeholders and developing space economic clusters of innovation. This GSA webinar will explore the genesis of the U.K.’s commitment to commercial spaceflight and building a spaceport network. They will also provide some guidance and lessons learned for other regions seeking to do the same.

Panelists:

Dr. George Nield

George Nield
GSA Chair 
Global Spaceport Alliance

Francis Walker with Corgan

Francis Walker 
Associate Principal – London
Corgan

Gemma Wilson
Harwell Space Cluster Development Manager

Ross Hulbert at Spaceport Cornwall

Ross Hulbert
Head of Engagement
Cornwall Spaceport

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith
Director of AstroAgency
Fire Arrow
& Space Scotland

Dr. David Alexander

Dr. David Alexander 
Director
Rice Space Institute

GSA partners with Farnborough International

GSA partners with Farnborough

Shown: Dr. George Nield and Joe Muir from Farnborough International shake hands to commemorate the partnership.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ALEXANDRIA, VA (May 1, 2025). We are thrilled to announce Global Spaceport Alliance (GSA), the largest international, member-based spaceport organization, as a partner of the inaugural Farnborough International Space Show. 
 
GSA’s global network of spaceports and affiliated partners has been recognized as the premier organization driving growth in global spaceport development. GSA provides its members with the information, data, research, networking, advice, and relationships needed for the successful planning, funding, and operation of spaceports around the world. GSA also hosts an annual summit as part of Commercial Space Week in Orlando, Florida – drawing participants from over eleven countries. 
 
As an international strategic partner of Farnborough International Space Show, GSA will contribute its commended expertise on all aspects of global spaceport development – from infrastructure to workforce development to policy recommendations and beyond – across the two-day Farnborough International Space Show taking place 19-20 March 2025 in Farnborough, United Kingdom.


Interested in joining GSA at Farnborough International Space Show? Click the button below to view opportunities.

ABOUT GLOBAL SPACEPORT ALLIANCE

Established in 2015, the Global Spaceport Alliance has become the largest network of spaceports in the world. Members include spaceport operators, suppliers, and government and academic entities involved in the commercial space sector. GSA offers members timely access to information, the ability to engage with key decision makers, and the opportunity to participate in working groups targeting specific areas of interest to the spaceport ecosystem.

GSA Webinar Series – April 2024

GSA Webinar Series - Economic impact of spaceports

Webinar recording is ready!

Economic Impact of Spaceports:

Market Analysts View

 

 

DISCUSSION LINKS:

Deloittes paper: Spaceport of the Future

BryceTech reports: CLICK HERE 

DESCRIPTION:

Market analysts are beginning to track and evaluate the economic impact of spaceports in the U.S. and around the world. Collectively, spaceports represent important focal points for emerging commercial space activities in the regions they serve. In the webinar, representatives from Deloitte and BryceTech will share recent findings about spaceports and discuss their potential future impact on the emerging space economy. Joining the discussion is Mike Kuchler, who co-authored a recent Deloitte paper, “Spaceport of the Future.” Also on the panel is Phil Smith of BryceTech who maintains the most comprehensive map of launch sites around the world.

Speakers:

  • Dr. George Nield, Chairman, GSA (moderator)
  • Mike Kuchler, Senior Manager, Launch and Range Services, Deloitte Consulting LLP
  • Phil Smith, Program Manager and Senior Analyst, BryceTech

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Dr. George Nield

Dr. George Nield

Global Spaceport Alliance (Moderator)
Deloitte

Mike Kuchler

Senior Manager, Launch and Range Services, Deloitte Consulting LLP
 
Mike Kuchler has 15 years of experience in federal consulting and global emerging markets, focusing on finance, strategic planning, program management, business model transformation, legislative policy in the Aerospace and Defense sectors.
 
Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Mary Washington and Masters of Business Administration focusing on supply chain and logistics from William & Mary.
Phil Smith
BryceTech

Phil Smith

Space Industry Analyst and Artist
BryceTech
 
Phil has worked as a space industry analyst for nearly 25 years, building on a decade of technical training, graduate-level education, and military experience. Phil’s background includes space industry analysis and market forecasting, aerospace history, astroculture, astrofuturism, nuclear weapons technology, industrial hygiene, clinical laboratory studies, and policy analysis.
 
In addition to conducting research, analyzing the results, and drafting written materials, Phil translates this work into high-quality documents, briefings, wall charts, and infographics using various publishing tools, bringing a mix of analytical skills and artistic talent to provide customers with a diversity of approaches in problem solving, from conceptualization to final delivery.
 
Clients include NASA Office of Technology, Policy, and Strategy (OTPS); NASA Chief Economist; several NASA centers (Stennis Space Center, Glenn Research Center, Goddard Space Flight Center, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory); USAF Office of Commercial and Economic Analysis; FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation; major original equipment manufacturers; international space agencies (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, German Space Agency, and UK Space Agency); and venture companies.
 
Phil has also been a tour guide for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum since 2003.

Global Spaceport Alliance Hosts Successful 9th Annual GSA Spaceport Summit

2024 GSA Spaceport Summit group photo

Global Spaceport Alliance Hosts Successful 9th Annual GSA Spaceport Summit

GSA Spaceport Summit kicked off a record-breaking Commercial Space week with Space Mobility Conference, and SpaceCom | 50th Space Congress.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

[ALEXANDRIA, VA., February 9, 2024] The 9th Annual GSA Spaceport Summit, organized by the Global Spaceport Alliance (GSA), took place on January 29th at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. This year’s summit was the first time this event has been open to non-GSA members and saw a record-breaking attendance.

The event featured former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine as the keynote speaker. His insightful address commended GSA, emphasizing the critical significance of a robust spaceport network and assuring access to space as a national security priority.

“Nearly 200 attendees joined the GSA Spaceport Summit, setting a new record with a growth rate that is double last year’s event. Representatives from 20 spaceports across the US, UK, Sweden, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia, Canada, Peru, and Portugal participated, along with additional representatives from Canada and France,” stated James Causey, GSA Executive Director.

According to the Space Report, there has been a 48% increase in proposed spaceports worldwide over the past four years. This increase is reflected in the membership growth of the Global Spaceport Alliance, the largest international network of spaceports. The GSA organization has seen a 220% growth rate in memberships as the nascent spaceport industry expands and the need for assistance and representation grows.

In his remarks, GSA Chair Dr. George Nield unveiled a spaceport-oriented legislative initiative called the “Commercial Spaceflight Operations Act of 2024.” The proposed legislation is a comprehensive bill that seeks to, among other things:

  • Establish an Assistant Secretary for Commercial Spaceflight under the Secretary of Transportation.
  • Establish a Commercial Space Transportation Administration reporting directly to the Secretary of Transportation.
  • Establish a clear National Spaceport Policy.
  • Provide up to $500 Million over 5 years for spaceport infrastructure expenditures.
  • Remove regulatory barriers to human spaceflight training.
  • Acknowledge the importance of high-speed point-to-point space travel and require a detailed report.
  • Create the Commercial Spaceflight Research Alliance, a government-funded independent research consortium.  

Pam Underwood, Director of the Office of Spaceport at the FAA, provided an update on the work of the National Spaceport Interagency Working Group, tackling issues such as aging infrastructure, congestion, and capacity. She laid out the foundational priorities of the working group, such as establishing a Spaceport Network Planning System (SNPS) and a Spaceport Capital Improvement Plan (SCIP) as counterparts to similar FAA programs for airports.

The next GSA Spaceport Summit is scheduled for January 27, 2025, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Throughout the year, GSA will host webinars and Advisory Group meetings.

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Thank you to our sponsors!

ABOUT GLOBAL SPACEPORT ALLIANCE

Established in 2015, the Global Spaceport Alliance has become the largest network of spaceports in the world. Members include spaceport operators, suppliers, and government and academic entities involved in the commercial space sector. GSA offers members timely access to information, the ability to engage with key decision makers, and the opportunity to participate in working groups targeting specific areas of interest to the spaceport ecosystem.

International Spaceport Forum

International Spaceport Forum

FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation Announces The First International Spaceport Forum

The FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation sent this announcement out today.
We are thrilled to share it with you!

Hello!

The FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation will host an International Spaceport Forum on Sunday, October 13, 2024, in collaboration with the Global Spaceport Alliance, the day prior to the start of the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2024 in Milan, Italy. This event will be held at the MICO Convention Centre, the same venue as IAC 2024.  Registration for IAC is not required to attend this event – registration for the International Spaceport Forum will be fee-free. 

The International Spaceport Forum will bring together spaceports and space regulators from all over the world to discuss topics ranging from globally consistent safety regulations, spaceport infrastructure and interoperability, best practices for spaceport security, and future international multilateral cooperation for the growing global commercial space transportation industry.  This event is the first of its kind, and we look forward to building strong international cooperation for space as an outcome from this event.  

An agenda and interest survey will be sent in the next couple of months.  We are sending this early save the date notice for awareness and calendar coordination. 

We hope to see all of you in Milan. 

Thank you, 

FAA Office of Spaceports Staff

ABOUT GLOBAL SPACEPORT ALLIANCE

Established in 2015, the Global Spaceport Alliance has become the largest network of spaceports in the world. Members include spaceport operators, suppliers, and government and academic entities involved in the commercial space sector. GSA offers members timely access to information, the ability to engage with key decision makers, and the opportunity to participate in working groups targeting specific areas of interest to the spaceport ecosystem.

Human Research Program for Civilians

Human research program for civilians

International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS) with

PRESENT

Workshop on the Human Research Program for Civilians in Spaceflight and Space Habitation

January 23 – 24, 2024, Tulsa, OK

Dr. Bettina L Beard, Chair; Dr. Michael Marge, Vice Chair; Dr. Jamey Jacob, Host

On behalf of the Planning Committee for the Human Research Program for Civilians in Spaceflight and Space Habitation (HRP-C) and our sponsor — the IAASS — and co-sponsors, we invite you to attend a two-day, hybrid Workshop to be held at Oklahoma State University (OSU) in Tulsa, Okla. on Tuesday, January 23 and Wednesday, January 24, 2024.

The HRP-C Planning Committee has been developing a comprehensive research program to investigate potential effects of commercial space endeavors on the health and performance of civilians, some of whom may have pre-existing medical conditions or disabilities. The goal is to make it possible for everyone who wishes to enter space to realize that dream.

Prior to the workshop, we will distribute the draft final report of the HRP-C as well as a feedback form to collect your review comments. At the Workshop, we will have ~30 human spaceflight, medical, and behavioral experts briefly present on different aspects of the program and provide the opportunity for comments, suggestions, and recommendations from the participants. We are also providing a number of opportunities for the in-person participants to informally meet key leaders and decision-makers from space R & D to create collaborations and contacts.  Please see the draft Workshop Agenda (still under construction) by tapping this link:  https://tinyurl.com/yl6j6g5o

OSU will host the Workshop for a maximum of 150 in-person participants. Because the in-person attendance is limited, selection of the in-person participants will be based on a first-come/first-served basis.  The University is also planning to provide access to the Workshop on a virtual basis for those who cannot attend in-person or whose application is submitted after we have reached the 150 participant limit.  The HRP-C Workshop is open to all stakeholders in space R & D and Programming without a registration fee.

If you wish to participate (in-person or virtual) in the January HRP-C Workshop, please complete the Registration Form at your earliest convenience.

It is our sincere hope that you will join us for this important event and provide your input on the HRP-C.

Jim Bridenstine to Keynote the GSA Spaceport Summit – a Commercial Space Week Event

Jim Bridenstine announced as Keynote speaker at the GSA Spaceport Summit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Jim Bridenstine Named Keynote Speaker for GSA Spaceport Summit, Part of Commercial Space Week

(Alexandria, VA. Nov 7, 2023) – The Global Spaceport Alliance (GSA) is proud to announce that Jim Bridenstine, former NASA Administrator, will serve as the keynote speaker for the highly anticipated GSA Spaceport Summit, taking place on January 29, 2024 in Orlando, Florida.. The summit is the first element of Commercial Space Week, and is hosted in collaboration with SpaceCom and the Space Mobility Conference.

Mr. Bridenstine, who served as the Administrator of NASA from 2018 to 2021, brings a wealth of expertise and insights into the future of space exploration and commercial space endeavors. His leadership at NASA has left a lasting impact on the space industry and its direction, making him an exceptional choice to address the attendees of the GSA Spaceport Summit.

The GSA Spaceport Summit is a premier event for spaceport operators, spaceport contractors, and entrepreneurs in the space sector. The event features discussions and presentations on the latest innovations, challenges, and opportunities in the growing spaceport industry. As the keynote speaker, Mr. Bridenstine will share his unique perspective on the future of space operations and the role of spaceports in enabling commercial space activities.

Commercial Space Week is a week-long celebration of the burgeoning commercial space industry, providing a platform for thought leaders, industry experts, and stakeholders to come together, exchange ideas, and explore collaborations. In partnership with SpaceCom and the Space Mobility Conference, this event promises to be an exceptional opportunity for attendees to gain insights into the exciting developments within the commercial space sector.

Details and registration of the GSA Spaceport Summit, as well as the full Commercial Space Week schedule, can be found on the event’s website www.globalspaceportalliance.com. Registration to the Summit is free for GSA Members. 

For media inquiries, interview requests, or additional information, please contact Izzy House, GSA Director of Marketing Strategies at globalspaceportalliance@gmail.com.

About the Global Spaceport Alliance:

Established in 2015, the Global Spaceport Alliance has become the largest network of spaceports in the world. Members include spaceport operators, suppliers, and government and academic entities involved in the commercial space sector. GSA offers members timely access to information, the ability to engage with key decision makers, and the opportunity to participate in working groups targeting specific areas of interest to the spaceport ecosystem.

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The Hague Institute and Global Spaceport Alliance announce partnership

Hague Institute

ANNOUNCEMENT OF PARTNERSHIP TO ADDRESS COMMERCIAL SPACE POLICY MATTERS

The Hague Institute for Global Justice (THIGJ) and the Global Spaceport Alliance (GSA) are pleased to announce the formation of a partnership to enable the near-term testing and operations of vehicles capable of performing point-to-point transportation through space. Although industry is making rapid progress in developing the technologies needed for such missions, there is currently a significant legal and policy vacuum in this area which could negatively impact their application.

United in purpose, THIGJ and the GSA plan to harness their collective expertise to forge an intellectual bedrock for a strategically innovative, yet judicious, bottom-up methodology. This collaboration is intended to serve as a beacon, illuminating the path forward for operators, while safeguarding the critical interests of civil society and governments.

As a first step, THIGJ and the GSA will concentrate their efforts on developing a roadmap that will address the pressing need for a comprehensive legal and policy framework. The roadmap will identify the actions required in order to allow society to benefit from the ability to transport cargo, and eventually people, on high-speed, intercontinental flights via outer space.

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Learn more about The Hague Institute for Global Justice and the Washington Compact HERE.  

ABOUT GLOBAL SPACEPORT ALLIANCE

Established in 2015, the Global Spaceport Alliance has become the largest network of spaceports in the world. Members include spaceport operators, suppliers, and government and academic entities involved in the commercial space sector. GSA offers members timely access to information, the ability to engage with key decision makers, and the opportunity to participate in working groups targeting specific areas of interest to the spaceport ecosystem.

GSA Webinar Series: Mike Moses from Virgin Galactic

Webinar Series - Virgin Galactic

Join us for a chat with Mike Moses, President of Virgin Galactic

October 19, 2023
12:00-1:00 PM Eastern Time
With the success of three commercial spaceflights–and one more due in early October–Virgin Galactic is easing into a long-awaited routine of taking paying customers to the edge of space aboard the VSS Unity suborbital spaceplane. To discuss the progress made by Virgin Galactic this year, and look ahead at what is in store for the company, Mike Moses will join in a virtual fireside chat with Dr. George Nield, GSA Chairman for a frank, open, and visionary discussion. Participants joining the meeting will have an opportunity to post questions directly to Mr. Moses. This Global Spaceport Alliance webinar will be a rare opportunity to connect with one of the leaders of the new era of human spaceflight. 

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Mike Moses

President of Virgin Galactic.
Mike came to Virgin Galactic following a distinguished 17 year career with NASA. From 2008 to 2011, he served at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida as the Launch Integration Manager, where he led all space shuttle processing activities from landing through launch. Mike also chaired the Mission Management Team where he provided ultimate shuttle launch decision authority. Other NASA experience includes working as a Flight Director at the Johnson Space Center, where he led teams of flight controllers in the planning, training, and execution of space shuttle missions. Before being selected as a Flight Director in 2005, Mike had more than 10 years of experience as a flight controller in the Shuttle Propulsion and Electrical Systems Groups.
 
Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering at Purdue University. He also earned a master’s degree in space sciences from Florida Institute of Technology. He is a two-time recipient of the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, as well as other NASA commendations and awards.
Mike Moses and Virgin Galactic