N. Oregon Coast Space Balloon Center Expands
(Tillamook, Oregon) – The north Oregon coast now has its own space center - or rather a larger one. Photo courtesy Johnson Near Space Center.
Last week, the Port of Tillamook Bay held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Johnson Near Space Center, the first commercial high-altitude balloon and UAS facility in the nation. It will allow the company to better serve its clients, which include NASA, NOAA, the US Department of Defense, universities, and an array of commercial entities.
The 31,000-square-foot complex in the Port's Airport Business Park was named after Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose), who arrived at the July 19 ceremony with no idea she would be on the company's signage.
The center headquarters and houses the company's engineering, manufacturing, payload integration and flight operations. It also features an observation tower with an operations control center and a large launch circle.
Near Space Corporation has been in Tillamook since the 90's, but this is a large expansion of its original layout.
While not exactly rocket science in the strictest sense, these near-space balloon flights carry payloads that range from several pounds to thousands of pounds in weight. Test flights often climb to 120,000 feet above sea level, allowing new technology demonstrations and scientific experiments to be conducted in a space-like environment above 99 percent of the Earth's atmosphere.
This facility is not open to the public as a tourist attraction, but local officials and company executives see this as a boost to the local economy and will put this part of the north Oregon coast a on the map in some intriguing new ways.
Near Space Corporation has completed more than 160 balloon flights since it began operating from Tillamook, Oregon in 1996. The management team's experience includes the creation of a wide variety of platforms to support Earth atmospheric research, space technology development, and planetary exploration missions. The company specializes in providing affordable solutions to NASA, NOAA, DOD, and commercial aerospace customers.
The company has been involved in balloon drop tests to simulate conditions on Mars.
In addition to its Tillamook facility, NSC also maintains launch sites in Madras, Oregon and South Point, Hawaii. See http://www.nsc.aero for more information.
More on Tillamook below and at the Tillamook Bay, Bayocean Virtual Tour, Map.
Inside the center's control tower.
More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....
More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....
LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles
Back to Oregon Coast
Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net