Friday, February 6, 2009

Spaceport America

Browsing the web again today and checked on the progress of Spaceport America, a construction project currently underway in New Mexico. I met a few of the engineers involved in this project last July at the Roswell UFO Festival. My writer and I were selling my book and they had the booth next to ours.
The artists conception at the left, borrowed from Spaceport America's website (which you can link to by clicking on the title of this post), is of the main building, the Virgin Galactic terminal. Virgin Galactic, founded by Richard Branson of Virgin Records, has already performed the preliminary tests on an aircraft that will launch a rocket from high altitude to carry paying passengers on brief suborbital flights. The advances made in technology in order to create these flights are expected to be valuable beyond mere tourism.

Even better, the Spaceport is focusing on research and education, hosting contests related to rocketry and exciting the imaginations of students everywhere who might otherwise overlook math or science as careers. The Spaceport representatives we met at the festival had a steady supply of fascinated children at their booth.

With the FAA license received and a twenty-year lease in place with the State of New Mexico, it looks like the project is underway, with ground-breaking to happen sometime this year. Looking forward to watching it develop.

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