An article in the Singapore newspaper Today makes an interesting claim: that the spaceport planned for the island city-state will be “the world’s first commercial tourist spaceport.” The source of that claim is unclear, although the article sites the February announcement by Space Adventures about the spaceport project as “plans to develop the world’s first civilian spaceport in Singapore.” The actual Space Adventures press release makes no such claim, other than a statement by Eric Anderson that with the Explorer suborbital vehicle under development “we will enable operations of the world’s first commercial suborbital flights.”
There are several obstacles that make it unlikely that Singapore’s spaceport will be first. For starters, spaceport project backers in Singapore say the facility is scheduled to open by 2009; by that time commercial suborbital flights may well be available in Oklahoma, Mojave, and perhaps New Mexico. (No date was announced for another Space Adventures spaceport project in the UAE.) Second, the group backing the spaceport is still trying to line up financing, even while a study by KPMG has raised the cost of the effort from $115 to $130 million. Of that, the article revealed, Space Adventures is providing $10 million; no other investment was revealed in the article, although the spaceport group said it still plans to have all the necessary financing lined up by the end of the year.