Records are being set monthly in the space industry, and private companies are the ones leading the surge.
While companies like United Launch Alliance and SpaceX may get the glory, thanks to the enduring sex appeal of thundering rocket launches, spaceports are quietly driving the industry forward, acting as its critical backbone.
"The standard that the industry is looking for is different than ever before," Craig Campbell, CEO of Alaska Aerospace, told CNBC. "The commercial industry is nothing like the government industry when it comes to money."
Ten spaceports are licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration. George Nield, leader of the FAA's Commercial Space Transportation, said "another half-dozen locations are knocking on the door."