Sir Richard Branson opens Virgin's spaceport

by Pete Hayman | 20 Oct 2011

Sir Richard Branson has dedicated the new 'Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space', which is set to become the home of the world's first commercial space tourism venture.

State governor Susana Martinez also attended the opening of the 'Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space' at the Foster + Partners-designed combined terminal and hanger facility.

URS Corporation and New Mexico-based SMPC also helped to design the new 120,000sq ft (11,148sq m) venue, which meets LEED Gold standards for eco-friendly quality.

In addition to housing up to two WhiteKnightTwo and five SpaceShipTwo vessels, Spaceport America also offers astronaut preparation facilities and a mission control centre.

Meanwhile, public access will also be made available through the creation of the planned New Mexico Spaceport Authority's Visitor Experience.

Sir Richard said: "We are here with a group of incredible people who are helping us lead the way in creating one of the most important new industrial sectors of the 21st century.

"Standing in front of the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space as it glimmers majestically under the New Mexican sun brings our space adventure so close we can almost taste it."

Image: Nigel Young/Foster + Partners

Sir Richard Branson has dedicated the new 'Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space', which is set to become the home of the world's first commercial space tourism venture. State governor Susana Martinez also attended the opening of the 'Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space' at the Foster + Partners-designed combined terminal and hanger facility. URS Corporation and New Mexico-based SMPC also helped to design the new 120,000sq ft (11,148sq m) venue, which
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