October 25, 2014
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Spaceport Oklahoma

Rocketplane Global, Inc. and the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Agency (OSIDA) have joined forces to help bring Oklahoma to the forefront of the aerospace industry. Together with Oklahoma state government, OSIDA and Rocketplane Global will maximize Spaceport Oklahoma's potential. The spaceport showcases the third largest runway in North America at 13,502 feet and serves as an alternate landing site for the Space Shuttle. Spaceport grounds offer more than 3,000 acres of open space and encompass all essential facilities, including a control tower, emergency facilities, offices, hangars, and storage bunkers. The spaceport also lies within close proximity to the state-of-the-art Western Technology Center in Burns Flat, which offers valuable vocational technology training. Spaceport Oklahoma is an ideal venue from which to send interested passengers soaring into sub-orbital space.

One of the major supporters of the Space Port initiative is the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technical Education, the Western Technology Center (WTC) has four area locations, one in Burns Flat, Cordell, Hobart and Weatherford.

In 1993, the city of Clinton leased the CSIA to the Southwestern Oklahoma Development Agency (SWODA). Although the CSIA continues to be managed by SWODA, OSIDA will gain municipal authority upon receiving their spaceport license.

History

In 1942, the United States Department of Defense purchased 5,000 acres of land in Southwestern Oklahoma and established the Clinton Naval Air Station. The surrounding skies were regularly filled with military aircraft, as the U.S. Navy used the airfield for training purposes. However, the Navy discontinued its operations in 1946, shortly after World War II ended, and the airpark was briefly turned into a civilian airport. After the City of Clinton acquired the facility, the grounds were leased by Sherman Iron Works. It was used for the salvaging of surplus fighter planes. Surplus aircrafts were dismantled by the thousands for their metal and other parts.

In 1954, the military reacquired the site and converted it into the Clinton-Sherman Air Force Base. It was used for pilot training and the development of aircraft equipment, and the Air Force used the facility as its Strategic Air Command (SAC) Base and housed mainly B-52 bombers there. Air Force personnel stationed at Clinton-Sherman included the following:

  • The 98th Bombardment Squadron assigned to the 4123rd Strategic Wing (1959-1963)
  • The 6th Bombardment Squadron assigned to the 70th Bombardment Wing (1963-1969)
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