Spaceport Singapore
On target for 2009
When casinos open, Branson's US$115m project will be ready for space travel. Compiled by Seah Chiang Nee.
Oct 3, 2006

The low-profile space base at Changi being operated by Richard Branson is sailing towards its 2009 completion date, according to a posting in Space Tech Singapore.

A recent post by Emily added the Singapore government is currently developing a regulatory framework for it. She said she was surprised that it was so low-profile in Singapore.

"I suppose it's a work in progress, so there aren't many press releases going out at the moment.

However, a story appeared last month on Slashdot about Richard Branson unveiling more details about the launch vehicle for Virgin Galactic. "If anyone can popularise mass participation in sub-orbital vehicles, it will be Virgin!" said Emily.

Anyway, the main article appeared on space.com so and it offered a good review of the very broad range of activities that will be available in the camp.

It related the project to Singapore's programme to reinvent its tourism profile.

I think we're going to see a great synergy here between Singapore and Dubai, where another spaceport will be cited.

Branson's Virgin Galactic will undoubtedly have the stronger global profile, and will establish the concept in the world's imagination.

Depending on the price point that eventually emerges once the services actually start operating, I suspect demand will grow rapidly and Singapore will benefit from this interest, as Asian tourists come here for their space trips rather than go to the American desert.

Background from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Singapore spaceport
Space Adventures has proposed a USD$115 million spaceport to be located in Singapore, near Singapore Changi Airport. This spaceport will service the Space Adventures Explorer suborbital tourist rocketplane.

It will also provide astronaut training facilities and a public education and interactive visitor centre. The spaceport is licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS). The estimated completion date of the spaceport in 2009.

Site selection
Sites in Australia, the Bahamas, Florida, Japan, Malaysia, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Singapore and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates were considered.

After a year-long selection process, the sites in Singapore and Dubai were chosen. One key difference between the two proposed spaceports is that while the Dubai spaceport will be mainly a launchpad for sub-orbital space flights, the Singapore spaceport will have much more facilities.

Planned facilities
The planned attractions in the Singapore Spaceport are far more numerous.

They include:

Sub-orbital Space Flights that will blast passengers out of Earth's atmosphere to an altitude of 100 km so they can enjoy about five minutes of weightlessness.
An entire flight will take about 90 minutes. There will be a four-day training programme before the flight. The entire experience is estimated to cost US$102,000.

Parabolic Flights. These flights at an estimated US$10,000 produce the experience of weightlessness in an aircraft without going into space.
Flights in the Aero L-39 Albatros, a high-performance jet trainer aircraft.

A four-day space camp for children

For adults, a full-day astronaut experience that will include a spin in a centrifuge to simulate a high-gravity environment, astronaut meals and a stint in a hypobaric (low-pressure) chamber to simulate performing repairs on damaged spacecraft in orbit.

An authentic VIP astronaut training facility for the public that will provide many of the training elements used by professional astronauts.
These include simulated spacewalks in neutral buoyancy tanks on the ground. Courses will be taught by actual astronauts and other space, flight, and training experts.

An Interactive Visitor Centre, where the public can enjoy flight simulators and interactive exhibit experiences, or learn about the history and technology of space travel.

The entire complex will be spread over 17,000 m² of floor area on a 1.8 ha site. It is expected to generate about US$3b in economic benefits over 10 years.

It hopes to attract more than half-a-million visitors a year from the region within two-and-a-half years of opening.

The estimated minimum cost of US$115 million will be partially funded by the private sector, undisclosed Singapore sources, as well Space Adventures' global spaceport development partner, His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al-Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates.

The consortium supporting Spaceport Singapore includes Octtane Pte, Batey Pte Ltd., Lyon Capital Inc., DP Architects, ST Medical and KPMG Corporate Finance.

Quote
"Singapore is one of the best-connected countries in the world. It is home to one of the world's busiest air and sea ports. Singapore, with its superior geographical and economic infrastructure, is primed to be the hub of a new, revolutionary form of travel - in space." -Eric Anderson, President and CEO of Space Adventures
Wikipedia