Kinloss, Lossiemouth and Stornoway have been put forward as possible sites for the UK’s first spaceport.
They were named on an eight-strong shortlist by UK Government ministers for the potentially lucrative project.
The Press and Journal exclusively revealed on Saturday that sites in Moray and elsewhere in Scotland would be proposed this week.
Six of the eight are in Scotland, with Campbeltown Airport, Prestwick Airport and Leuchars also featuring.
The other two are Llanbedr Airport in Wales and Newquay.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Space is big business for the UK.
“It already contributes £11.3billion to the economy each year, supporting nearly 35,000 jobs.
“That’s why it’s important for us to prepare the UK for new launcher technology and take steps towards meeting our ambition of establishing the first British spaceport by 2018.
“Exploring the opportunities that commercial spaceflight presents, and potentially making strategic investments in this area, will support the growth of this thriving industry and underpin the economy of tomorrow, making the UK the place for space.”
Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill said: “In order to lead the way on commercial spaceflight, we will need to establish a spaceport that enables us to operate regular flights.
“The work published today has got the ball rolling – now we want to work with others to take forward this exciting project and have Britain’s first spaceport up and running by 2018.”
Several experts have already described Moray as the “obvious” location for the spaceport because it has military airfields with long runways that are near the coast and a relatively clear path north over the sea.
Coalition ministers have pledged to deliver legal and regulatory changes to help quadruple the size of the UK space sector so it is worth £40billion by 2030.
RAF Lossiemouth was earmarked previously as a preferred location for a spaceport, and the base was also viewed by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic company as a potential launch site for space tourism in Europe.
Virgin Galactic is due to start launching from New Mexico but also wants a base in Europe.
A site in northern Sweden is thought to be the company’s preferred location. However, UK ministers have said they would like Sir Richard to consider the UK’s port.
Potentially more lucrative for Moray would be the ability to launch smaller-scale satellites