Its 20 seconds in the future. The space age is truly dawning this time. And I the CEO of a wealthy aerospace company, am looking for the perfect place to set up shop with my new spaceport. I've decided on the nation of Kenya due to its proximity to the equator and the Indian ocean which gives me a nice dumping ground for spent stages.
My question is, what would be the best place/city to build my spaceport in?

  • The city must have some existing facilities to start with (like say a port)
  • It must be in good terrain for a spaceport; a nice flat area close by
  • The residents and neighborhood must be fairly stable and culturally open
  • Lastly it must be located on the coast
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The only significant city in Kenya on the coast is Mombasa, so this is a pretty trivial question. -1 for not looking at a map. $\endgroup$
    – kingledion
    Nov 14, 2018 at 2:04
  • $\begingroup$ Remember that you need some industrial infrastructure. Fuel manufacturing, for example. Location analysis only works well when you have a good grip on your inputs. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Nov 14, 2018 at 2:27
  • $\begingroup$ Why do you want your cosmodrome on the Equator? It's not a favorable option for anything other than launching geostationary satellites, and even for that purpose the advantage is not economically significant. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Oct 23, 2020 at 12:34
  • $\begingroup$ Depending on how concerned with realism you are, you may also want to think about ITAR/EAR regulations which make aerospace supply chains harder outside the US (though not impossible, see eg Rocketlab) $\endgroup$
    – Kofthefens
    Oct 23, 2020 at 21:54

3 Answers 3




Not much on Jipe right now. An airstrip, adjacent to a protected underused natural harbor. The Lamu Archipelago used to be an important harbor for trade 800 years ago but now is a sleepy tourist attraction. It looks like the weather is nice!

If you build in a city, you have to deal with the political entities already in the city, making sure they are all bought off and staying happy. Then when they are feeling not bought off enough, they make your life hard with zoning, rules and so on. Plus all the people who are there - are they going to appreciate you? Do your workers want to deal with them? Are the schools any good?

Start somewhere there is nothing - like Walt Disney did with Orlando. There are only the distant national politicos to be bought. Then build it the way you like it. The people you bring in will be your people and your organization will be the main power broker for the area.


The first place that springs to mind for me is: Mombasa.

It's a large city with an international airport and the port there is the largest in East Africa.

Immediately on the coast of the Indian Ocean, the city is home to 1.4 million people, and is strengthening diplomatic and economic ties with Asia (especially Japan).

Located only 4 degrees from the equator, Mombasa seems like an obvious choice.


Depending how strict you are about being close to an existing city and how concerned you are about overfly of populated areas mount kenya in many ways are the ideal launch site on earth. The proximity to the equator combined with high altitude increases payload to low earth orbit by a litle bit by having to punch throuhg less atmosphere. If rockets are built specifically for that spaceport you could use engine nozzels optimized for thinner atmosphere giving you another few precentages of efficency.


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