Paso Robles moves forward with spaceport concept
Council approved non-binding letter of intent with Wagner Star Industries and Cal Poly in support of a potential spaceport
– The Paso Robles City Hall conference room was crowded with officials Tuesday night for a discussion on a proposal to designate the Paso Robles Airport as a spaceport.
The Paso Robles City Council, Planning Commission, and Airport Commission all participated in the workshop. About 30 citizens also attended the meeting.
Paso Robles Economic Development Manager Paul Sloan talked about the purpose of getting the spaceport designation. He said the city would benefit from more economic diversity, but that the wine industry and tourism must be protected. He said that there are now 13 commercial spaceports in the United States. The only one in California is in Mojave.
Sloan emphasized that the spaceport does not include rocket launches. That’s a vertical launch during which a rocket goes straight up into space, and it’s noisy. What is being proposed are horizontal launches. There are planes currently under design that will fly small satellites up to where they can be launched into the atmosphere.
Many of the satellites deployed in space are CubeSats, which were invented at Cal Poly in the late 90s. They are small satellites about the size of a small personal computer, which are deployed in outer space for communication and other purposes.
The workshop also received a presentation from Tartaglia Engineering, and S.O. Witt and Associates.
The Paso Robles City Council voted unanimously to approve a non-binding letter of intent in collaboration with Wagner Star Industries and Cal Poly in support of a potential Paso Robles Spaceport. The motion also allows Mayor Steve Martin to execute other non-binding letters of intent in support of a local spaceport.
The entire workshop is available for viewing on PRCity.com.