May 23, 2012
With the launch of a privately owned rocket into space earlier this week, the idea of spacecraft launches from Jacksonville is slowly being brought to life.
"I'd love to watch it, certainly come out and watch it," said Doug Hampt, who's excited about a potential spaceport.
Cecil Spaceport, with help from the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, could be the site of that reality.
"Right now we're looking at probably a launch possibly occurring toward the end of 2013 or the early stages of 2014," said Todd Lindner, of JAA.
It may not look like much now, but there are plans for permanent buildings at Cecil Airport on the Westside designed to attract commercial industry heading to outer space.
"They'll be conducting research, conducting experiments, microgravity experiments, also they'll be doing different activities to accommodate the tourism industry," Lindner said.
The thing that makes this spaceport special is the runway. At more than 12,000 feet long, it's the second longest runway in the state.
The runway will offer more than enough room for a horizontal launch. There's a clear vision for what's to come.
"We will extend out the taxiway here right at the approach end of this runway, and it will mirror what's going on on the west side of the airport," said Kelly Dollarhide, of JAA.