Press Release

Positive results study Lelystad Airport Space Center

By SpaceRef Editor
April 8, 2011
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AMSTERDAM REGION LELYSTAD, 8 April 2011 – Friday night, the International Space Transport Association (ISTA) presented positive results of the preliminary Space Center Feasibility Study at Lelystad Airport. Last autumn, ISTA, the Municipality of Lelystad, and the OMALA Development Group decided to conduct a feasibility study on the possibilities of a Space Center to expand economic value for the city and the region. Experts and consultants have come to positive conclusions over the possible realisation of such a Center. National Aviation Theme Park and Museum Aviodrome in Lelystad welcomes the results. “We are interested in developing and researching further possibilities on establishing a Space Center that may consist of an education center, training center and a space exposition”, says Jan Schaatsbergen, director of Aviodrome. “This Space Center will cover a wide range of space-related activities and will serve public participants as well as institutional scientists who wish to obtain astronaut training certification, for example.”

Since November of 2010, a working group composed by the City of Lelystad, OMALA Development Group and the International Space Transport Association (ISTA) has been busy with a preliminary feasibility study which analyzed the possibilities of developing a Space Center at Lelystad Airport. The Space Center would consist of a space expo, an education center and an astronaut training academy. The preliminary feasibility study shows positive results. A Space Center in Lelystad creates an incredible opportunity for private parties, research bodies and governmental organizations to jointly work together. When realized, it will be the first Center of its kind in Europe, catering to adventurers looking for an astronaut training course certification; tourist and scientific passengers who need to be trained and certified before a spaceflight; middle schools scheduling educational trips; and the general public using the state-of-the-art spaceflight simulators and visiting the expo. New 3D / HD full motion technology can bring highly realistic Virtual Reality spaceflight experiences to everyone, and offering a small taste of what real spaceflight and the life-changing moments of ‘The Overview Effect’ are really like.

Despite the fact the Space Center can be a stand-alone feature, when coupled with an actual working spaceport its value added increases exponentially. The spaceflight operators launching out of Lelystad Airport – like SpaceLinq NV, Europe’s first spaceliner launching from The Netherlands – can greatly benefit from having a certified astronaut training facility in-house. The convenience of offering the training on site also saves time and resources for scientific passengers, like those from the European Space Agency (ESA). Commercial microgravity research clients, and tourists who would have otherwise needed to perform a training course in the US or Russia, also benefit from the Center.

The Space Center ties together the features of Lelystad`s future vision. The spaceport, SpaceLinq and the Space Center can create a high-tech ecosystem driven by innovation and resulting in jobs, technology and revenue. In addition to drawing high-end space tourism customers from all over Europe and beyond, reliable and affordable suborbital spaceplane operations will also provide opportunities for pharmaceutical, biotech, advanced materials science and other commercial research to gain access to the unique attributes of the space environment to create new products and services. In addition, fundamental scientific advances in the fields of astronomy, climate and environmental research, remote sensing and small satellite launch can all benefit from this new class of commercial spaceflight capability.

About commercial space flight

Yet in 1865 Jules Verne described a fantastic space journey of three persons in his novel From the Earth to the Moon. In those days not a space flight, but an air flight was something unconceivable for most people. Turning the 20th century, Verne’s visionary ideas inspired humankind to send its first representative into outer space. The innovation appearing with the development of air & space navigation has shaped the World, as we know it today. Commercial space navigation will be plenty supported by innovations which will impact positive living of people all over the World. Nowadays we are witnessing the start of new transportation means, and through the 21st century space commercial flight will become as usual as it is air flight today.

The 20th century gave birth to the space age and our century will become the period of maturation of commercial space navigation. The space industry is growing rapidly also thanks to the vision of talented businessmen. At this moment, commercial spaceports, training centers and space vehicles are being developed and built in many points of the World, what is leading to a continuous increase of the number of stakeholders in the commercial space industry.

About the International Space Transport Association (ISTA)

The need to develop, market and promote commercial spaceflight, science innovations and payload is evident. It should not be restricted to increasing awareness for future space consumers, but it should also be targeted in getting the attention of private investors and agencies whose business require a solid growth of a sustainable world and space industry. A whole new sector is emerging and evolving around spaceflight, space training, space cargo, space hotels and many other activities: The space economy.

The increasing economic value of the activities of the space economy is turning it into a consumer driven industry. This process demands the efficient functioning of an independent organisation, acknowledged by the stakeholders, which may control, support the reputation and maximize the economic value of the space industry, accomplishing this in a sustainable way. The International Space Transport Association (ISTA) is meant to fulfill these tasks with a key focus on consumer related space activities worldwide. The conviction on the enormous potential of the commercial space industry explains the ISTA commitment to secure its successful development from infancy to maturity.

SpaceRef staff editor.