Midland is now considered landing site for spacecraft - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Midland is now considered landing site for spacecraft

(Source: KWES)) (Source: KWES))
MIDLAND, TX (KWES) -

Airplanes may not be the only thing landing at the Midland Air and Space Port.

Sierra Nevada Corporation is one of the top five aerospace companies in the U.S. They announced Thursday that Midland is now considered a compatible landing site for a spacecraft.

"Midland was the first spaceport to say we want to go through that process with you and work hand-in-hand," said Vice President John Roth of Sierra Nevada Corporation's Strategy and Business Development.

The spacecraft, called the Dream Chaser, is a low-earth orbit spacecraft which lands on commercial runways around the world to provide cargo delivery, disposal and return services to the International Space Station.

The Dream Chaser is about 30 feet long which is 1/4 the total length of the space shuttle orbiters. The Midland Air and Space Port meets FAA criteria with a runway long enough for the Dream Chaser to land safely.

But before the Midland space port can officially be the new landing site, it has to go through a two phase process. Since phase one of meeting the requirements is complete, now the space port will have to go through phase two, which is getting their FAA license. This can take between two to three years.

After tests are done with NASA, in five years, the Midland space port may see more businesses with the company.

"Sierra Nevada has been evaluating Midland to do other things here as well," said Roth. "It's not only about the Dream Chaser landing. We continue to look at ideas for moving some of our business here. We hope that happens eventually, as well."

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