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mikey23545
06-22-2009, 11:28 AM
SCIENCE NEWS
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New Mexico breaks ground on commercial spaceport

Posted 2009/06/19 at 4:56 pm EDT

PHOENIX, June 19, 2009 (Reuters) New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson broke ground on Friday on construction of Spaceport America, the world's first facility built specifically for space-bound commercial customers and fee-paying passengers.

The $198 million project, which is being funded by the New Mexico state government, is located on a remote high-desert range near the town of Truth or Consequences.

British tycoon Richard Branson's space tours firm, Virgin Galactic, will use the facility to propel tourists into suborbital space at a cost of $200,000 a ride.

"After all of the hard work to get this project off the ground, it is gratifying to see Spaceport America finally become a reality," Richardson said.

"This groundbreaking ceremony is an important step toward our goal of being at the forefront of a vibrant new, commercial space industry."

Construction will begin with a runway at the site, followed by a terminal and hangar facility later in the year, Spaceport America said.

Virgin Galactic is investing more than $300 million in developing a new space launch system that will operate from the site after it opens.

The spaceship hitches a ride up to around 50,000 feet attached to a specially designed carrier aircraft. When released from the aircraft, it is designed to hurtle into suborbital space powered by a rocket.

Virgin Galactic President Will Whitehorn said the firm already had taken some 300 advanced bookings and planned to begin flights from the spaceport within two years.

The spaceport site was first used for a successful commercial launch in 2007, with a rocket bearing the ashes of Actor James Doohan, who played the Starship Enterprise's chief engineer Scotty on "Star Trek."

After floating back to Earth, the rocket was lost for three weeks in the vast expanse of mountainous desert surrounding the site.

http://www.newsdaily.com/stories/tre55i5nk-us-space-newmexico/

Slainte
06-22-2009, 11:41 AM
repost

DaneMcCloud
06-22-2009, 11:43 AM
This is great news but as a child of the 60's, I expected this to happen 30 years ago.

Better late than never!

mikey23545
06-22-2009, 11:58 AM
This is great news but as a child of the 60's, I expected this to happen 30 years ago.

Better late than never!

Yeah, and the fact it's just suborbital kinda sucks, but I guess we have to start somewhere...

Donger
06-22-2009, 12:55 PM
Awesome. They are going to have weekly flights of SpaceShipTwo when this gets operational.

RJ
06-22-2009, 12:57 PM
New Mexicans get to pay for it but few of us will ever fly on it.

Still, I do think it's kinda cool.

Donger
06-22-2009, 12:59 PM
New Mexicans get to pay for it but few of us will ever fly on it.

Still, I do think it's kinda cool.

Maybe they'll have a "coupon day," or something.

mikey23545
06-22-2009, 01:38 PM
Awesome. They are going to have weekly flights of SpaceShipTwo when this gets operational.

It will really be awesome when someday the flights actually have a destination....

Rausch
06-22-2009, 01:56 PM
Yeah, and the fact it's just suborbital kinda sucks, but I guess we have to start somewhere...

*RING!...RING!*

New Mexico Resident: Hello?

Telemarketer: Hello, this is Ted, from Spaceport America! We were wondering if you'd like to take a suborbital flight. A truly once in a lifetime experience!

Resident: Um...isn't that expensive?

Telemarketer: Incredibly! And perhaps dangerous! We need ordinary naive people during the Spaceport's infancy until we get all the kinks worked out. We can't afford to hire ace pilots like NASA or the military to take these risks so we were hoping to use ordinary citizens like yo-

Resident:*click*

Telemarketer: Hello?...Hello?...

Donger
06-22-2009, 01:58 PM
*RING!...RING!*

New Mexico Resident: Hello?

Telemarketer: Hello, this is Ted, from Spaceport America! We were wondering if you'd like to take a suborbital flight. A truly once in a lifetime experience!

Resident: Um...isn't that expensive?

Telemarketer: Incredibly! And perhaps dangerous! We need ordinary naive people during the Spaceport's infancy until we get all the kinks worked out. We can't afford to hire ace pilots like NASA or the military to take these risks so we were hoping to use ordinary citizens like yo-

Resident:*click*

Telemarketer: Hello?...Hello?...

Virgin Galactic has already sold over 200 seats, for $200,000 each.

RJ
06-22-2009, 02:08 PM
Virgin Galactic has already sold over 200 seats, for $200,000 each.


Maybe Coupon Day will be half price for New Mexico residents.

Rausch
06-22-2009, 02:10 PM
Virgin Galactic has already sold over 200 seats, for $200,000 each.

Astronauts are still applying at NASA but I'll bet the first time one of those flights has complications and goes all 4th of July the thick walleted civilians won't be lining up in droves...

DaneMcCloud
06-22-2009, 02:30 PM
Astronauts are still applying at NASA but I'll bet the first time one of those flights has complications and goes all 4th of July the thick walleted civilians won't be lining up in droves...

Well, isn't that a nice thought?

I don't see massive amounts of people avoiding airplanes after an unfortunate crash and think it's likely this would be similar.

It's not like it's inter-stellar travel.

Rausch
06-22-2009, 03:22 PM
Well, isn't that a nice thought?

I don't see massive amounts of people avoiding airplanes after an unfortunate crash and think it's likely this would be similar.

It's not like it's inter-stellar travel.

There's a big difference between a plane and going to space.

I guess it would be like flying 30 years after the first plane flew. And then doing it in an experimental plane...

Donger
06-22-2009, 03:22 PM
Astronauts are still applying at NASA but I'll bet the first time one of those flights has complications and goes all 4th of July the thick walleted civilians won't be lining up in droves...

I'll take that bet.

Donger
06-22-2009, 03:23 PM
There's a big difference between a plane and going to space.

I guess it would be like flying 30 years after the first plane flew. And then doing it in an experimental plane...

Actually, Rutan classifies flying in SS2 as being equivalent (with regard to safety) as flying in a 1920s passenger plane.

Ari Chi3fs
06-22-2009, 04:07 PM
Space America FUCK YEAH!

Flying to space for only 200K yeah!

bevischief
06-22-2009, 06:39 PM
*RING!...RING!*

New Mexico Resident: Hello?

Telemarketer: Hello, this is Ted, from Spaceport America! We were wondering if you'd like to take a suborbital flight. A truly once in a lifetime experience!

Resident: Um...isn't that expensive?

Telemarketer: Incredibly! And perhaps dangerous! We need ordinary naive people during the Spaceport's infancy until we get all the kinks worked out. We can't afford to hire ace pilots like NASA or the military to take these risks so we were hoping to use ordinary citizens like yo-

Resident:*click*



Telemarketer: Hello?...Hello?...


ROFLROFL