Spaceport America from New Mexico, First Images


Spaceport America from New Mexico is the future home of Virgin Galactic, a company looking to start offering commercial space flights to tourists starting from 2010 as I understood. Construction of the spaceport will begin in 2008. Above you can see how the terminal will look like, and below you can see a CGI rendering of the space flight that will take place, from taking off, to the boost phase, the ballistic phase and then the re-entry.

The cost of the terminal and the hangars will be $31 million. The projected hangars will be able to hold two White Knight Two carrier aircraft (you can see them in the video, lifting the spaceship from the ground and then separating) and five SpaceShipTwo spaceliners (which hold the passengers and go into orbit).

The SpaceShipTwo spaceliners can each hold 6 tourists and they’re being built right now in the Mojave desert in California.

The price for a trip to space will be $200,000 in the beginning, but as the time passes and costs are reduced, they’re expecting to decrease considerably. Some say that in a couple of decades the price of such a trip would be around $5000.