New MOU lays groundwork for future spaceport at Vandenberg AFB

By Courtney Albon / August 5, 2020 at 2:46 PM

The 30th Space Wing, in partnership with the governor of California and local academic and economic development agencies, announced today a memorandum of understanding to establish a spaceport at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA.

Partners on the project include the governor's office of business and economic development, California Polytechnic State University, REACH and Deloitte. Under the MOU, signed July 15, the parties will create a master plan that identifies governance, financing, human capital development and infrastructure requirements to support the effort.

"We firmly believe that the next decade will be transformative for U.S. commercial and defense space capabilities," the group said in a fact sheet released today. "This decade of transformation presents a unique opportunity to capitalize on the growing commercial space industry activities and attract additional commercial activity to Vandenberg AFB and the surrounding region."

A preliminary master plan released today casts a vision for a "developed space cluster" centered around Vandenberg that focuses on launch, downstream applications and testing and evaluation services.

"These three pillars build off the existing launch infrastructure at [Vandenberg] and the competitive advantage of having a fully established launch range, while providing more stability due to a highly coupled but also diversified industry, market and operational cycles," the document states.

The team has not determined a timeline for future milestones, but will build out the master plan over the next six to nine months.