Spaceport Infrastructure

1. Overview:

With the commercial spaceflight industry leading the development of new launch capabilities and the emerging commercial human spaceflight sector about to take hold, the opportunity exists to reverse the recent decline in the global market share of the U.S. commercial space launch industry, and support exciting new industries that will create thousands of high-wage jobs.

Unlike airports, commercial spaceports have previously had no opportunity to apply for federal matching dollars for infrastructure to support operations and protect public safety. In the 1993 NASA Authorization Act (Public Law No. 102-588), Congress authorized a new program to support commercial space transportation facilities, known as the Space Transportation Matching Grants (STIM-Grants) Program.

STIM-Grants received initial funding in Fiscal Year 2010, and further information is available in the Federal Register [pdf].

To build infrastructure for a vital national capability and develop a source of high-tech, high-wage jobs, continued funding support for the STIM-Grants Program is crucial.

2. Program Details:

• STIM-Grants Program created under Section 505 of the 1993 NASA Authorization Act to “ensure the resiliency of the Nation’s space transportation infrastructure.”
• Grants administered by Secretary of Transportation, under consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the NASA Administrator.
• Grants must be for less than 50% of project cost; private sector must cover at least 10%.
• Existing and proposed spaceports in California, Florida, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Virginia / Maryland, Alaska, Wisconsin, Indiana, and other states, will be eligible for competitively-awarded grants.