Spaceport America: Commercial Spaceport in New Mexico

Conceptual Picture of Spaceport America in New Mexico
Conceptual Picture of Spaceport America in New Mexico

New Mexico broke ground for Spaceport America yesterday. Spaceport America is going to be the first spaceport built specifically for commercial space tours and space travel. A few weeks ago, I wrote about Virgin Atlantic offering trips to space for $200,000 per ride. Spaceport America is where paying customers will take a flight into Earth’s low orbit.

Spaceport America: Terminal Facility and Hanger in New Mexico
Spaceport America: Terminal Facility and Hanger in New Mexico

The New Mexico state government is funding the entire project, and it is estimated that the Spaceport America project will cost $198 million. But it doesn’t stop there. Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic are also investing $300 million to develop a space launch system on the site. And don’t fool yourself into thinking they are not going to make money. According to Virgin Galactic President Will Whitehorn, the company already has 300 space flights booked! That’s right. Here we are in the midst of a wrecked economy, and there are 300 people willing to spend $200k per person to take a trip to space. Gosh. I wonder what it’s like to have that kind of money. But more power to them. We need more demand to drive the price down. And if there is a profit to be made, more companies will enter this market, creating more competition, supply and lower prices. Maybe in the future I will be able to take a space tour! Go economics-based reasoning!

Spaceport America in Google Maps Satellite View in New Mexico
Spaceport America in Google Maps Satellite View in New Mexico

Where is Spaceport America exactly? Well, according to all sources, the simple answer is: it’s out in the middle of nowhere in the New Mexico desert. But more precisely, Spaceport America is near Upham in Sierra County, New Mexico. That’s about 30 miles east of Truth or Consequences, NM and about 45 miles north of Las Cruces, NM. Also, the Spaceport America facility is close to the perimeter of the White Sands Missile Range. That’s odd to me. Planes bound for low orbital space will be taking off near a missile range. Are you kidding me? I hope those two places are on good speaking terms.

There are a ton of facts out there about Spaceport America. Here are a few:

  • Spaceport America on Wikipedia (link)
  • Breaking Ground Press Release (link)
  • Official Site of Spaceport America (link)
  • Google Maps Satellite View (link)
  • covers ground breaking (link)

Will Whitehorn & Virgin Galactic Want to Take You to Space for $200,000

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo

Did you know that Virgin Galactic is set to send a few hundred people to space? I know. Simply incredible. Even more incredible is the price tag of $200,000 per ticket. And for $200k you get some great customer service from highly trained space travel agents. Wait a minute. Are they experts at travel agent stuff, or are they experts in traveling to space and back? Don’t worry about that part.

Book your place in space now and join around 250 Virgin Galactic astronauts who will venture into space.

Tickets cost $200,000 and deposits start from $20,000. If you are interested in discussing your reservation with us directly please fill in this page and we will be in touch as soon as possible to answer any questions you may have. Or you can contact one of our Accredited Space Agents around the world. They have been specially selected and trained by us to handle all aspects of your space flight reservation. If you just want to receive regular updates from us then please click here.

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipOne
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipOne

Virgin Galactic actually has two spaceships: SpaceShipOne and SpaceShipTwo. They are carried into orbit by WhiteKnightOne and WhiteKnightTwo. Those look like two planes that share an adjacent wing. That looks expensive. Much like hybrid cars, it seems space travel is slightly cost prohibitive for most people. But I don’t really care because I am happy that human beings will soon be traveling to space for fun. NASA’s cool and all, but their astronauts must have PhD’s in all types of sciences. And NASA astronauts have to do a lot of work when they are in space. No space work with Virgin Galactic! Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic only requires that you have $200,000.

Imagine the excitement. Imagine the adventure. Imagine re-entering Earth’s atmosphere at 6G’s. I’m thinking some rich people are going to throw up all over the place. I guess it only makes sense that wealthy people get to be the first to enjoy space tourism. As my mom would say when I wanted Optimus Prime back in 1984, “You’ll just have to settle for Ratchet. That’s just the way it goes.” And then I’m all like, “Aw, man. Ratchet? He’s an ambulance Transformer. He doesn’t even have a gun. Just give me Cliffjumper, I guess.” In my opinion, that’s a great analogy of this situation. It’s also kind of like vacationing in sunny Midland, TX instead of traveling to the sub orbital boundary of Earth’s atmosphere. Wouldn’t it be cool if everyone had the option of taking a trip to space?

Even though it sounds expensive, people are lining up to go to space. According to this article, close to 300 people have already made deposits:

Virgin Galactic, part of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, has collected $40 million in deposits from would-be space tourists including physicist Stephen Hawking and ex-racing driver Niki Lauda, and hopes to start commercial trips within two years.

Holy crap. $40 million in deposits. I’d say that have a solid business model. The demand is certainly there. Maybe I could sell ads on this site and raise $200,000. Then again. I don’t think anyone reads this blog. Oh well. I guess I’ll just go home and play with Ratchet. Yeah. I’ve still got him for sentimental reasons.

Ratchet, the ambulance Transformer
Ratchet, the ambulance Transformer

[Shut up, Wheeljack. In fact, can you just get outta here? I’ve gotta get this right if I want that promotion.]