SPACE.com -- California Lawmakers Back Mojave Spaceport Growth:
"A launch site operator license was granted by the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of the Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation (AST) to the Mojave Airport on June 17, 2004 – making it the first inland spaceport on the books.
The Mojave Spaceport has already enabled one piece of history. It was from this location that the pioneering flights of the piloted SpaceShipOne suborbital rocket plane took place.
The Mojave Spaceport/Airport is presently the only licensed inland spaceport in the nation. In 2004, Scaled Composites, operating out of the Mojave Airport successfully launched and safely returned to Earth, the first privately funded spacecraft – SpaceShipOne. Based on two of the launches, the company was also awarded the $10 million X Prize.
The suborbital flights sparked the interest of Virgin Galactic’s owner, billionaire Richard Branson, to partner with Scaled Composites to operate the world’s first commercial spaceliner company.
Ashburn noted that a dozen private firms are home-based in Mojave performing sub-orbital and orbital projects supporting various elements to the emerging space travel industry, including XCOR Aerospace, AirLaunch Corporation, as well as Orbital Sciences.
WOOT! This is one of the places I grew up. It's not that far from Edwards Air Force Base. Wow, a spaceport. ...