Representative Mac McCutcheon of Madison County and two other lawmakers put the wheels in motion Tuesday to get Alabama in on the spaceport competition. The proposed resolution will create a nine-person committee to look at the possibility of bringing commercial spaceflight to the state.
The Federal Aviation Administration began looking into potential spaceport sites months ago and with a likely limited number of licenses for the the ports, the state did its research quietly.
“We wanted to come out and be one of the first to announce this, as well as being on the cutting edge of this new technology,” said Representative McCutcheon.
With facilities like the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and Redstone Arsenal, McCutcheon says the technology available within the state makes Alabama ideal for this opportunity.
“We currently design spacecrafts, we have the technology in Alabama for space travel. A spaceport would actually just be a blend of what we’re already doing,” said McCutcheon.
The FAA already has licensed eight non-federal launch site in six states. If the research panel does approve the spaceport, it could still be another four to six years before Alabamians could launch into orbit from their backyard.
The spaceport would be completely funded by federal money, costing the state nothing.
Discussions have not yet begun as to where a spaceport would be located.