Spaceport America: Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic Owner Opened World’s First Commercial Spaceport

By on Oct 20, 2011 in Amazing, Business, Lifestyle, Travel Comments
Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic in N.M.
Richard Branson: Virgin Galactic owner
Image Credit: Matt York

Richard Branson, British billionaire owner of Virgin Galactic, opened the world’s first commercial spaceport in the New Mexico desert last Tuesday, October 18, 2011, according to reports by several international news sites.

Spaceport America has a custom metal paneling and massive panes of glass. The spaceport will house Virgin Galactic‘s spacecraft and its mission control. The building will also serve as a preparatory station for space travelers, before loading them to rocket ships of Virgin Galactic.

Reports say that the new hangar will be the new home of Branson‘s Virgin Galactic company which will start his commercial space tourism venture . Branson dedicated the $209 million Spaceport America together with Gov. Susana Martinez, astronaut Buzz Aldrin and several other N.M. officials.

Branson described the spaceport as “absolutely magnificent.” He added that the building “is literally out of this world, and that’s what we were aiming at creating.” The billionaire is hoping that powered test flights of Virgin Galactic spacecraft can be done by the end of 2012. Branson is trying to have its commercial suborbital flights from the spaceport as early as possible.

About 450 people reportedly bought tickets for the Virgin Galactic flight with 150 of them attended the dedication.

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