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FAA Licenses Private Facility for Space Launches

September 20, 1996| Reuters

WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday licensed what it called the world's first private commercial space launch facility, to be located on Vandenberg Air Force Base about 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Called the California Spaceport, the 106-acre site on the base near Lompoc is leased from the U.S. Air Force by Spaceport Systems International, a limited partnership of ITT Corp and California Commercial Spaceport Inc.

The spaceport will provide launch services to people with occasional need for access to space, such as university researchers, said the FAA's Frank Weaver in a statement.

"Traditionally, such users found the cost of obtaining adequate facilities and services difficult because they could not justify the cost of constructing and maintaining the required building and personnel," Weaver said. "California Spaceport will eliminate this concern by providing these facilities to the single user at a low cost."

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