GSA at Capitol Hill

GSA Capitol Hill Space Advocates Program 

The Growing Importance of Spaceports to the World Economy

WHEN: June 12, 2024
TIME: 10:00 – 11:30 AM Eastern
WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building – Room 2325
45 Independence Ave SW, Washington, D.C. 20515

Limited space available. Please reserve your spot. 

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. 


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

Dr. George Nield
GSA Chair

Global Spaceport Alliance

Rob Long
Space Florida

Maj. Ted Mercer

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

Scott Mclaughlin - Spaceport America

Scott McLaughlin
Executive Director
Spaceport America

Arturo Machuca - Houston Spaceport

Arturo Machuca
Houston Spaceport


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.