Credit: Stratolaunch

The Mojave Air and Space Port is located two kilometres east of Mojave, in Kern County, California. In addition to being a functioning airport, the facility has been certified as a spaceport by the Federal Aviation Administration and is used for space flight testing by Virgin Galactic and spacecraft manufacturer, Scaled Composites, among others. The facility covers 2,998 acres (1,213 ha) and has three runways. In 2004, the first successful flight of the privately developed, reusable spacecraft SpaceShipOne was performed here. Over the past years the infrastructure has been upgraded to accommodate significant flight line development and industrial manufacturing utilizing common industry components which complement each other. Today, the Mojave Air and Space Port is also home to Cosmic Girl, Virgin Orbit's carrier aircraft that launches commercial LauncherOne rockets.

Mojave Air and Space Port

Name: Mojave Air and Space Port
Alternative name: /
Country: USA (California)
Owner: Airport District
Altitude: 854 m
Coordinates: 35°03'34"N - 118°09'06"W
First launch/spaceflight: 2004
Launch vehicle:

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The Mojave Airport was first opened in 1935 as a small, rural airfield serving the local gold and silver mining industry. In July, 1942, the U.S. Marine Corps took over the field and vastly expanded it as the Marine Corps Auxiliary Air Station (MCAAS) Mojave. Many of the Corps’ WWII aces received their gunnery training at Mojave. With the end of WWII, MCAAS was disestablished in 1946, and became instead a U.S. Navy airfield. At the end of 1953, the USMC reopened MCAAS Mojave as an auxiliary field to MCAS El Toro. In 1961, after the USMC transferred operations to MCAS El Centro, Kern County obtained title to the airport. The airport also has a rich history in air racing. In 1970, a 1,000-mile (1,600 km) unlimited race was held, the first closed-course pylon race to include pit stops. From 1973 to 1979 Air Race Management organized a series of Reno-syle races at Mojave featuring Unlimiteds, T-6's, Formula-1's, and Biplanes. In 1973 and '74, the program also included jet races. Mojave Spaceport has also been a test site for several teams in the Ansari X Prize, most notably the Scaled Composites SpaceShipOne, which conducted the first privately funded human sub-orbital flight on June 21, 2004. The Mojave airport is also known as a storage location for commercial airliners, due to the vast area and dry desert conditions. Numerous Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed, and Airbus jetliners including wide-body aircraft previously or currently owned by major domestic and international airlines are stored at Mojave. Some aircraft reach the end of their useful lifetime and are scrapped at the Mojave aircraft boneyard, while others are refurbished and returned to active service. Mojave is also the home of the National Test Pilot School where more test pilots are educated than any other site in the world.


12/30: 3,811 m / 12,503 ft
08/26: 2,149 m / 7,049 ft
04/22: 1,447 m / 4,746 ft

Mojave Air and Space Port Mojave Air and Space Port
Credit: Virgin Orbit / Mojave Air and Space Port

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Kris Christiaens

This article was published by FutureSpaceFlight founder and chief editor Kris Christiaens. Kris Christiaens has been passionate and fascinated by spaceflight and space exploration all his life and has written hundreds of articles on space projects, the commercial space industry and space missions over the past 20 years for magazines, books and websites. In late 2021, he founded the website FutureSpaceFlight with the goal of promoting new space companies and commercial space projects and compiling news of these start-ups and companies on one website.