Wednesday, February 22, 2006

UAE and Space Ports

I saw this on Drudge over the weekend about the UAE wanting to build a spaceport in Singapore. Here's the article:

Spaceport Shuffle

Deals are also in place to construct a $265 million spaceport at the Ras Al-Khaimah International Airport in Ras Al-Khaimah – the northernmost of seven emirates the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – with a $115 million facility to be built near Singapore’s Changi International Airport, Space Adventures officials said.

“After we initiate operations here, we look forward to expanding operations outside of the United Arab Emirates,” Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, crown prince of Ras Al-Khaimah, in a statement.

Anderson said Al Qasimi has been extremely supportive and invested $30 million into the spaceport project.

Space Adventures is also working with a consortium of investors in Singapore to develop Spaceport Singapore, a facility that will offer not only suborbital spaceflights, but also astronaut training, parabolic flights to simulate weightlessness, and other high-altitude attractions.

“With the proposed Spaceport Singapore, we now stand at the threshold of an unprecedented opportunity to launch into space practically from our own backyard,” said Lim Neo Chian, chief of the Singapore Tourism Board, in a statement.

The announcement of both spaceports does not rule out American spaceport in Space Adventures’ future, though several unrelated projects are already underway in the U.S.

“We’re still analyzing potential locations,” Anderson said. “We’d love to be opening a spaceport in the United States.”

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