AskDefine | Define spaceport

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

space*port SPEÏS-pohrt

Etymology

From space and port

Noun

  1. A site for launching spacecraft.

See also

Extensive Definition

A spaceport or cosmodrome is a site for launching spacecraft, by analogy with seaport for ships or airport for aircraft. In rocketry, major spaceports (such as Centre Spatial Guyanais or Cape Canaveral Air Force Station) often include more than one launch complex, each of which may have more than one launch pad. Spaceports like the Mojave Spaceport include runways for takeoff and landing of rocket-powered aircraft like SpaceShipOne. Typically a spaceport site is large enough that, should a vehicle explode, it will not endanger human lives or adjacent launch pads.
Launches from near the equator in an easterly direction are preferred, as they allow maximum use of the Earth's rotational speed, and a good orientation for arriving at a geostationary orbit. The rotational boost increases the amount of mass that can be lifted to a given orbit with a given amount of fuel. For polar or Molniya orbits, these aspects do not apply. For safety, a launch from a location where the rocket range extends over water or deserted land is important.

Space tourism

The space tourism industry is being targeted by spaceports in numerous locations: Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, California, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Florida, Virginia , Alaska and Wisconsin in the United States, Russia's Baikonur spaceport and possibly an Australian site to be developed for the launching of Russian spacecraft. Kiruna, Sweden is also planning to use Esrange as a spaceport http://spaceportsweden.com/sps/.

Future spaceports

It is believed that future hypersonic aircraft will require a very long runway rather than a vertical launch pad. Such hypothetical spaceports will present unique challenges in noise abatement, zoning, and passenger access, with as much as a 5 mile wide corridor surrounding a 30 mile long runway. A dedicated mass transit system from the nearest public access point to the aircraft boarding area will be required.
spaceport in Bulgarian: Космодрум
spaceport in Czech: Kosmodrom
spaceport in Danish: Rumhavn
spaceport in German: Weltraumbahnhof
spaceport in Spanish: Base espacial
spaceport in Basque: Kosmodromo
spaceport in French: Base de lancement
spaceport in Indonesian: Pelabuhan angkasa
spaceport in Hebrew: נמל חלל
spaceport in Latvian: Kosmodroms
spaceport in Hungarian: Űrközpont
spaceport in Japanese: 宇宙船基地
spaceport in Polish: Kosmodrom
spaceport in Portuguese: Bases de lançamentos espaciais
spaceport in Russian: Космодром
spaceport in Slovak: Kozmodróm
spaceport in Swedish: Rymdhamn
spaceport in Chinese: 航天发射中心
spaceport in Lithuanian: Kosmodromas
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