Space Florida holds a Launch and Reentry Site Operator License, issued by the FAA in January 2021 (License Number: LRSO 18-018 (PDF)). This Launch and Reentry Site Operator license allows Space Florida to offer the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF), located at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport in Titusville, Florida, to launch and reentry vehicle operators. Space Florida applied to the FAA in 2020 to add reentry operations to their previous Launch Site Operator License issued in November 2018. The Launch and Reentry Site Operator License was issued by the FAA on January 15, 2021 and will remain in effect for five years. For more information, visit the Shuttle Landing Facility Commercial Space Operations page.
Sierra Space is applying to the FAA for a Vehicle Operator License that would allow Sierra Space to conduct reentries at the SLF with its Dream Chaser vehicle. For more information, visit the Sierra Space at SLF Proposed Reentry Operations page.
The FAA licenses and regulates U.S. commercial space launch and reentry activities, as well as the operation of non-federal launch and reentry sites. When evaluating license applications, the FAA must conduct the following reviews: a safety review, an environmental review, airspace integration, a policy review, a reentry site location review (Launch and Reentry Site Operator Licenses only), a payload review (Vehicle Operator Licenses only), and a financial responsibility review (Vehicle Operator Licenses only). For more information, visit the FAA Sierra Space at SLF License Review Process project page.
Space Florida is the state-chartered spaceport authority and has statutory responsibility and authority to support the expansion and operation of Florida's commercial space transportation capabilities. Space Florida promotes economic development activities for space industry needs, including attracting, retaining, and expanding aerospace or supply chain businesses that create economic opportunities in Florida. In 2013, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) selected Space Florida to manage and operate the SLF. In June 2015, Kennedy Space Center transferred the management, development, and operation of the SLF to Space Florida. For more information, visit the SLF History page.
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In January 2021, FAA published the Final Programmatic Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the SLF Reentry Site Operator License (Final PEA and FONSI). A copy of the Final PEA and FONSI is available for download on the Space Florida Shuttle Landing Facility Programmatic Environmental Assessment page.
The Programmatic Environmental Assessment analyzes the potential impacts from the range of commercial space reentry operations proposed by Space Florida at the SLF. The FAA is preparing an EA for Sierra Space's Vehicle Operator License application. The Sierra Space EA tiers off the SLF Programmatic Environmental Assessment. The tiered EA will be a more detailed analysis based on the Dream Chaser specific operations. Once complete, we will post the Draft Sierra Space EA to Space Florida Shuttle Landing Facility Programmatic Environmental Assessment page for public review and comment.