JOHNSON SPACE CENTER — The Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership will have a public discussion on the future of commercial spaceflight Sept. 4 at Space Center Houston.

Much of the discussion will revolve around a proposal to turn Ellington Airport into a licensed spaceport. Last month, the Houston City Council approved a $718,900 contract authorizing consultants to push for a license that would allow the airport to serve as a hub for commercial spaceflight.

Houston Airport System Director Mario Diaz, the keynote speaker at the event, has said Ellington could obtain a license from the Federal Aviation Administration next year.

The FAA has licensed eight commercial spaceports in the U.S., and Diaz sees Ellington as a potential port for space tourism and other commercial space endeavors.

It would cost somewhere between $48 million to $122 million to equip Ellington to launch space vehicles, according to a 2012 study conducted by the airport system.

As the home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center and other aerospace and commercial flight companies, the Bay Area is particularly well-suited for a commercial spaceport, Diaz has said.

Other panelists will include former astronauts and leaders in the commercial spaceflight industry.

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation and Barrios Technology are also sponsoring the public discussion.

At a glance

WHAT: Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership’s public discussion on commercial spaceflight with keynote speaker Mario Diaz

WHEN: 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 4

WHERE: Space Center Houston, 1601 NASA Parkway

Contact reporter Alex Macon at 409-683-5244 or

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.