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Old 06-22-2009, 11:28 AM  
mikey23545 mikey23545 is offline
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Launch into the future from Spaceport America...

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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/tre...ace-newmexico/
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:23 PM   #16
Donger Donger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rausch View Post
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.
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:07 PM   #17
teedubya teedubya is offline
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Space America **** YEAH!

Flying to space for only 200K yeah!
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Old 06-22-2009, 06:39 PM   #18
bevischief bevischief is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rausch View Post
*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?...

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