Puerto Rico Seeks Partner to Develop Space Port Near Rainforest
(Bloomberg) -- Puerto Rico -- the U.S. territory known for its sandy beaches and record-setting bankruptcy -- wants to become a player in the space race.
The Caribbean island has put out a request for information, or RFI, seeking companies interested in turning a sleepy airport at the base of the El Yunque National Rainforest into a space port.
The island’s location between North and South America and close to the Equator gives it “viable trajectories to a large range of desirable low earth orbit launch inclinations,” Puerto Rico’s Port Authority said in a notice posted Friday.
The Jose Aponte de la Torre airport has one 11,000-foot runway and currently offers local flights to the Puerto Rican islands of Culebra and Vieques.
If the site does generate interest, it would be a major boost to Puerto Rico’s small but vibrant aerospace sector. Honeywell Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney and Collins Aerospace -- a subsidiary of Raytheon -- all have manufacturing plants on the island.
Puerto Rico would also join a growing number of U.S. states and jurisdictions that are vying for pieces of the commercial launch business, which is expected to become a trillion-dollar market over the next decade.
Responses to Puerto Rico’s RFI are due May 26.
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