New Mexico has recently launched a ground breaker for their revolutionary Spaceport America. This state of the art spaceport will be the world’s first commercial airport to launch private individuals into space. The spaceport promises a new age for commercial space exploration and development for New Mexico and the rest of the world.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson remarked on the importance of the groundbreaking for the spaceport. “After all of the hard work to get this project off the ground, it is gratifying to see Spaceport America finally become a reality,” he said. “New Mexicans have stepped up to the plate by making this investment. This groundbreaking ceremony is an important step toward our goal of being at the forefront of a vibrant new, commercial space industry.”
The revolutionary spaceport will be constructed on an 110,000 square foot area, with terminal and hangar facility that incorporate cost-effective and energy-efficient green building practices. The terminal’s hangar will be built using sustainable and clean energy technology such as employing earth-tubes that will pre-condition the air to lessen HVAC costs by 50-70%, and installing solar thermal panels on the roof for hot water supply.
The main tenant to be is Virgin Galactic, who has already invested $225 million in the project. Entrepreneur Richard Branson, who is known worldwide for his Virgin brand, already announced plans to commence flights from the spaceport in 2011 and charge a $200,000 per-person fee from the first 300 passengers already enrolled in first space flights. Spaceport America‘s runway is planned to be constructed by mid-2010, while its terminal and hangar are both expected to be completed by the end of 2010.
TFOT previously covered the design of the first commercial spaceport, scheduled to be built in New Mexico, and has also reported on Richard Branson’s ‘Space Ship Two’ and ‘White Knight Two’ carrier aircrafts. You can also check out our article covering Genesis II, another milestone on the way to the commercialization of outer space, brings us a step closer to realizing the dream of vacationing in outer space.
Additional information on Spaceport America can be obtained at the project’s website.