Oklahoma is ready to shoot for the stars. That's after the Governor signed Senate Bill 720 into law, clearing the way for development of the state's first spaceport. Senate President Pro Tempore Stratton Taylor and House Speaker Loyd Benson were principal authors of the legislation. Senator Gilmer Capps and Representative Jack Bonny co-authored SB 720.
"This legislation creates the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority. If we are successful, we're talking about creating some 22,000 jobs, as well as making Oklahoma a player in 21st century space industries," noted Senate Capps, author of the spaceport legislation.
The Space Industry Development Authority will have the power to issue revenue bonds, as well as acquire and develop the land needed for commercial space launches. It will also regulate and control the area around the launch site.
Senator Capps said one possibility would be to use the former Clinton Sherman Air Force Base at Burns Flat for the location of the spaceport. The spaceport would be used for private industry space shuttles, which would be used to take commercial satellites into orbit, as well as making repairs to those already orbiting the earth.
"Countries all over the world are developing these spaceports. Florida already has it's own Spaceport Authority. With approval of this legislation, Oklahoma is in the running for this exciting new space industry, and the many spin-off industries in satellite and communication services that will come with it," said Senator Capps.