Posted January 6, 2009 by Zak Patten
I know I'm supposed to be a serious adult, and most of the time I am. But every now and then, especially when the topic of space travel comes up, the geeky eight-year-old in me perks up his Vulcan ears and marvels at the wonder of it all. And so it was when I read that Virgin Galactic, the commercial space-travel outfit headed by Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic mogul Sir Richard Branson, had settled on a launch site near Las Cruces and Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
The site, to be known as Spaceport America, sounds like something out of The Jetsons, and judging by the "artist's renderings," which are the only view we have of the project now, it may look a lot like a Kennedy-era model for the space station of the future, albeit in the U.S. desert. And Virgin Galactic won't be the only tenant. UP Aerospace and Payload Specialties, as well as the tantalizingly named Rocket Racing League and Microgravity Enterprises will also be in residence.
Once construction has been completed on Spaceport America, "the nation’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport," the fun can really begin. Apparently Virgin Galactic has quite the waiting list for its sub-orbital flights, with 45,000 registered "potential astronauts." I'm imagining the scene at the spaceport in about 2015—passengers gazing out at the launch pad, sipping Tang, and munching on freeze-dried ice cream. It'll probably be a few years before Spaceport America is merely one hub in the Virgin Galactic route network (the others of course being Spaceports Europe, Asia, the Moon, and perhaps Venus), but a "spaceline" has to start somewhere, right?
I'm feeling decades younger just writing about it. How about you? Are you excited enough about having a spaceport that you'll take a vacation in New Mexico just to see a launch or talk to an astronaut? Or are you waiting until the spacefare ($200,000 right now) comes back down to Earth? Please comment below and let me know.
(Image: Spaceport America)
Users are solely responsible for the content of the comments posted. Comments are subject to the terms and conditions and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or approval of bookingbuddy.com. Bookingbuddy.com does not control or endorse the content, messages or information posted.
The comments to this entry are closed.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Virgin Galactic to Base Spaceport America in New Mexico Desert: