NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The Federal Aviation Administration announced the opening of a safety field office that will increase the administration’s oversight of commercial space operations in Texas and New Mexico. The new field office will be in Houston, Texas.
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Officials say this location will improve monitoring of ongoing testing programs and commercial space tourism operations from companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin in Texas, and Virgin Galactic in New Mexico. According to a press release, the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation will also be increasing its safety inspection staff and establishing an Office of Spaceports.
Last month, the FAA activated the Space Data Integrator, which tracks a space launch and reentry vehicle in near-real-time as it travels through the National Airspace System. Officials say it will increase safety for all airspace users and assist the FAA in managing air traffic during space operations.