Virgin Galactic opens Spaceport | travel | Hindustan Times
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Virgin Galactic opens Spaceport

travel Updated: Oct 19, 2011 13:22 IST
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Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson has officially dedicated a new Spaceport for his commercial space venture Virgin Galactic, in New Mexico, USA. 

The British business described the opening of Spaceport America, a purpose-built terminal which will serve as the launch and return site for commercial spaceships, as a "history-making day for Virgin Galactic."

Eventually, Spaceport America will hold two WhiteKnightTwo launch vehicles and five SpaceShipTwo vehicles, along with astronaut preparation and celebration facilities, a mission control center, and a friends and family area.

Tourists will also be welcome to visit a planned visitor center, the New Mexico Spaceport Authority's Visitor Experience.

Virgin hopes to launch a vessel into space within the next 12 months, and has already completed 30 SpaceShipTwo flights and 75 WhiteKnightTwo flights to date, but Spaceport America isn't the only destination planned as a launchpad into space.

Last month, Space Expedition Curacao confirmed an order for a second space craft to be operated from its Caribbean spaceport, set to begin operations in 2014.

Space Adventures, a company which has already launched 'space tourists', is also believed to be working to bring new launch sites online, including one in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah and another in Singapore.