HOUSTON — The Federal Aviation Administration has granted the Houston Airport System a launch site license to use Ellington Airport as a launch site for reusable launch vehicles.
The license makes Ellington the nation's 10th commercial spaceport. Officials plan to launch the reusable vehicles horizontally, like conventional commercial aircraft, rather than vertically. A city statement Tuesday says the license clears the way for developing the facilities needed for reusable launch vehicle operations.
Ellington Field was built as an Army flying school in 1917 and served as an Army Air Corps, Air Force, NASA and Texas Air National Guard base until the city of Houston bought it in 1984 and opened it to general aviation. The field is situated six miles northwest of NASA's Johnson Space Center.