MOLINE, IL — The Quad Cities International Airport, situated in Moline, Illinois, is on the cusp of a potential transformation.
Awaiting an FAA study, the airport could evolve into a spaceport, a facility significantly more complex than a typical rocket launch site. Spaceports, often sprawling with multiple launch complexes for various launch vehicles, are equipped for intense safety measures. They encompass large safety areas known as rocket or missile ranges, covering the trajectory and potential component landing zones of launched rockets.
A spaceport isn’t just about rocket launches; it often includes storage, processing facilities, and in some cases, even production facilities. They may also feature runways to support takeoff and landing operations.
It’s crucial to note that transforming the Quad Cities International Airport into a fully operational spaceport, even with a positive FAA study result, could be a long-haul project, spanning several years or decades. This initiative places Illinois alongside states like Alaska, California, New Mexico, and others that are already part of America’s spaceport network.