Company Profile: Virgin Galactic, Spaceport

Here's the photo from it from Google Earth, but the satellite coordinates are wrong:
Can anyone find this on Google?  How will I ever get to drive there if I can't get directions? 
What a tragedy--I can't get to space because I can't find the vac'ing spaceport!

The spaceport is actually owned by the State of New Mexico and leased to Virgin Galactic.  Other companies have used it for launching from the spaceport as well.  Virgin Galactic said they picked the area for several reasons:

  • World's first purpose-built commercial spaceport
  • Estimated construction cost $209 million
  • Stable weather, dry climate
  • 4,600 ft. altitude above sea level means nearly the first mile of vertical travel is "free"!
  • Low population density around Spaceport America
  • Congestion-free, shared restricted airspace with neighboring White Sands Missile Range
  • Long local history of spaceflight pioneering and innovation
The runway is almost two miles long and is, of course, designed for the horizontal take-off of White Night Two.  (It's apparently not the longest runway in the Mohave, however.)  There 's a training area for the astronauts as well as things for visitors to see.  (Probably a nice gift shop, thought you can get the stuff online, too.)  A lot of the spaceport is dug into the ground to protect it from the extreme temperatures of New Mexico.  And you have to admit, it looks very cool.

Now that they have nifty new facilities, they're starting "shakedown cruises" with the goal of first commercial flights this year or next.  They have over 400 people with tickets. 

If you want to learn more about it, check out

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