State Could Be Chosen for Space Launch Site

“State revenue could increase substantially if Washington is selected as the first launch site for VentureStar, a space vehicle that could potentially replace the space shuttle.According to a recently completed economic impact study for the Grant County Economic Development Council, state revenue under current timelines would peak at $70.5 million in the year 2003. Even if the state is chosen as the second launch site, the peak year of 2003 could generate revenues of $20.6 million statewide, according to the study.The EDC had commissioned the report after receiving a favorable response from the Lockheed Martin VentureStar siting team in July 1999. The response indicated that Grant County was a technically competitive site for one of two future launch and landing sites for VentureStar.The report further estimates that the total capital outlay, largely expected from the private sector, would be $612.8 million if the city becomes a first launch site, with a 38 percent reduction if it is listed as second or ‘subsequent.’In addition to new and additional industries to service the space project, the report lists expected population impacts of 9,737. An increase of school-age children would total 1,789. For a subsequent site, immigration is expected to peak in 2003 at 3,331 with a school age population of 616.Siting work by Lockheed Martin for the new spaceports is expected to continue for several months, according to peter McMillin, director of Business Development, Washington State Community, Trade and Economic Development.“We are still in our infancy with this project,” McMillin said. “I am encouraged however by the figures that we have to date, especially those which indicate that Washington State ranks third among all launch sites in regards to the tax environment.”The report was prepared by Command and Control Technologies in Titusville, Florida, and Washington-based Reed Hansen & Associates. CCT is a spaceport technology company specializing in control systems and ground software for launch vehicles, spaceports, and spacecraft.Even if the state is not chosen as a site, studies for a Washington State spaceport site can pay off in many ways, according to Peter Simons, president of CCT.”