With its sights firmly set on launching commercial space flights in 2020, Virgin Galactic, has unveiled the completed first and second floors of the Gateway to Space building at Spaceport America and has declared its VIP terminal for space travellers in New Mexico, USA, operationally ready.
Virgin Galactic plans to provide the opportunity for private individuals to go into space and increase the frequency and safety of space flight.
A ticket on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo costs US$250,000 The company aims to fly more people to space in its first few years of service than have been there through all of history.
The terminal is based within Spaceport America in New Mexico. Governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham said, “New Mexico is on the edge of its seat as Virgin Galactic continues to make progress here.
“It’s been thrilling to watch. The space sector is an enormous growth opportunity, a perfect example of the economic diversification we will continue to pursue, and we are committed to seeing through the continued growth and evolution of this industry. Each step Virgin Galactic takes brings us closer to the stars.”
“Virgin Galactic’s unveiling is the next step of moving the aerospace industry forward in New Mexico and is a vital step toward commercial space flight from Spaceport America,” said Daniel Hicks, Spaceport America CEO. “Virgin Galactic has made tremendous progress here at Spaceport America. We are honored to have Virgin Galactic moving their operations – as well as their top-notch support aircraft – fully to New Mexico.”
The Spaceport is located on 18,000 acres in the Jornada del Muerto desert basin, adjacent to White Sands Missile Range and resides under restricted air space.
Spaceport America includes vertical and horizontal launch complexes including a 12,000 x 200ft runway. It is the first purpose built commercial spaceport in the world and to date has hosted 301 rocket launches, 12 of which have reached space.