The world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport
UPHAM, NM – With New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Spaceport America officials and supporters of commercial space development in attendance, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport delivering on the promise of an exciting new age for space exploration and development, as well as a bright future for the people of New Mexico and their children.
Executive Director Steve Landeene of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) commented, “The groundbreaking for Spaceport America is the beginning of a historic new chapter in New Mexico’s long legacy of space and cutting-edge technology.
From the pioneering rocketry work of Robert J. Goddard in New Mexico in 1930, the beginnings of America’s space program in the 1940’s and 50’s to the ongoing NASA programs at White Sands Missile Range and now to Spaceport America, the Gateway to the Future.
Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group launched Virgin Galactic in 2004 with the objective of developing commercial space vehicles that would transform the safety, cost and environmental impact associated with manned space travel.
As the spaceport’s anchor tenant, Virgin Galactic has been actively developing the technology to make low cost commercial space access a reality in conjunction with Burt Rutan and Northrop Grumman’s Scaled Composites, the company developing WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo for commercial spaceflight.
The design for Spaceport America’s terminal hangar facility was created by a team of American and British architects that were selected after competing in an international design competition. URS Corporation, one of the world’s largest design and engineering firms, teamed with lead designer Foster + Partners of the United Kingdom to submit the winning design.
Foster + Partners has extensive experience designing airport buildings and other highprofile projects worldwide. Spaceport America holds great promise for the people of New Mexico and their children.