is a site for launching spacecraft
, by analogy with airport
. Typically the site is large enough that should a rocket
explode it will not endanger human lives or adjacent launch pads.
It is believed that future hypersonic aircraft will require a very long runway rather than a vertical launch pad. Such hypothetical spaceports will present unique challenges in noise abatement, zoning, and passenger access, with as much as a 5 mile wide corridor surrounding a 30 mile long runway. A dedicated mass transit system from the nearest public access point to the aircraft boarding area will be required.
Some of the main spaceports are:
- Alcantara space base, Maranhao, Brazil
- Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
- Centre Spatial Guyanais at Kourou, French Guiana
- Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China
- Kennedy Space Center, Florida
- Plesetsk cosmodrome, Russia
- Tanegashima Space Center, Tanegashima Island, Japan
- Vandenberg AFB, California