The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a license for Huntsville International Airport (HSV) to operate as a commercial space reentry site. HSV becomes the 14th FAA-licensed commercial spaceport in the United States.
With this license, in the future the Huntsville Reentry Site will be able to accommodate Sierra Space Dream Chaser vehicles returning from NASA resupply missions to the International Space Station, the FAA explains. The company has proposed up to eight reentry operations at the airport from 2023 to 2027.
However, to be able to conduct reentry operations, Sierra Space, or any other commercial space vehicle operator, must obtain a Vehicle Operator License from the FAA.
The airport, meanwhile, still needs to develop necessary notifications and other procedures to integrate commercial space reentries into its operations, the authority has also outlined.
The license will be valid for five years.
The Huntsville Reentry Site becomes the 14th commercial spaceport in the United States licensed by the FAA and the second reentry site, the first being Space Florida Launch & Landing Facility. Besides the 14th FAA-licensed spaceports, there are three private launch sites (two SpaceX and one Blue Origin) and three US Federal sites.