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Spaceport America, world's first commercial spaceport


Spaceport America to form a base for Virgin Galactic. A file photo.

NEW MEXICO (BNS): Spaceport America will be the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport. The 110,000 square foot facility, designed by Foster and Partners, will cost around $200m and is expected to host the first commercial space flight by 2011.

Virgin Galactic the world first space-line which will give an opportunity to make everyday space flight a commercial real at a ticket price of USD$200,000. The Spaceport America will be its earth base. The runway is 10000 feet long and 200 feet wide. The public viewing gallery is 4000 square feet. And the total site, including buildings, runways and aprons, occupies 670,000 square feet.

A progress report on Spaceport America was given by Rick Homans, Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Economic Development Department and Chairman of Spaceport America.

Followed by several years of building, Spaceport America would be up and running to handle British billionaire Sir Richard Branson's suborbital space-liner operations flying under the Virgin Galactic flag.

"By 2010 we expect to be launching Virgin Galactic on regularly scheduled flights to space from New Mexico at one or two times a week," Space.com website quoted Rick Homans as saying.
Homans said that Spaceport America will handle other tenants too.

Cargo and passenger flights to the International Space Station will depart from the facility, "and soon thereafter to the Moon," he added.

Spaceports will be the scene of research, flight test, and certification of people-carrying spaceships. It will be completed in about 18 months, and the first tourist space flight could take off shortly thereafter.

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