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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Hawaii Seeks Spaceport License

Rocketplane-Kistler (RpK) is advancing the idea of tourist space launches from the islands of Hawaii to send space flight participants up 330,000 feet to the edge of outer space.

Oahu's many tourists make the island an attractive location for the flights, said Charles Lauer, vice president for business development for Rocketplane Kistler. "the flying weather is great, and the views of the entire island chain and the ocean from space will be spectacular," he told Associated Press recently.

RpK is in talks with the state about developing a space-themed education and training facility at Kalaeloa, which would support space flights between Honolulu and Kona International Airport. It also wants to collaborate with the University of Hawaii on space related research.

The RpK XP spacecraft is expected to start test launching the vehicle from Oklahoma in 2009. Hawaii would have to first gain an FAA-AST spaceport license. Obtaining that license is among a number of aerospace measures making their ways through this year's Hawaii Legislature.

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