This brief presents a concise description of the existing spaceport market, the technologies being tested and developed at them, and the private companies that are making them possible. While NASA has its own plan for the future of space exploration, one that includes a new shuttle, an interplanetary spacecraft, and astronauts going to Mars, many people believe that the real future of space exploration is currently centered around dozens of commercial spaceports, financed by entrepreneurs inspired not only by profit but by the dream of creating a new space age, one not limited by bureaucracies or by budget allocations.
Commercial spaceports in Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia and Alaska, as well as in countries like Curaçao and Sweden, are becoming home to dozens of private aerospace companies and provide a place where cutting-edge technology can be developed, tested and launched into space. Based on original interviews with principles at the various companies involved and on-site observations at the Mojave Air and Space Port, the author traces the early days of the spaceport movement and outlines what lies ahead.
Seedhouse is a research scientist specializing in environmental life sciences and physiology, the subject in which he obtained his Ph.D. while working for the European Space Agency between 1996 and 1998. In 2009, he was one of the final candidates for selection as an astronaut in the CSA's Astronaut Recruitment Campaign. He is a certified commercial suborbital astronaut who will fly a payload mission in 2015/2016. Between 2008-2013 he was Director of Canada's Manned Centrifuge and Hypobaric Chamber Operations. He is also the Training Director for Astronauts for Hire. He works as manned spaceflight consultant, triathlon coach, author and public speaker.