The spaceflight company unveiled the mostly completed interior of its "Gateway to Space" building here at Spaceport America today Aug. The progress on this interior work "means that Spaceport America's Gateway to Space is now functionally operational — ready to host the remaining portion of Virgin Galactic's test-flight program before welcoming its very first future astronauts," Virgin Galactic representatives said in a statement today. Virgin Galactic's spaceflight system consists of a carrier aircraft called WhiteKnightTwo and the six-passenger SpaceShipTwo space plane.
There hasn't been a lot of news out of Richard Branson's commercial space flight company Virgin Galactic since the company's SpaceShip Two broke apart during an October test flightkilling one of the two crew members. However, today the company is redoubling its efforts to bring rich citizens into space by taking the wraps off the new SpaceShip Two, named the VSS Unity by Stephen Hawking. As expectedthe new ship contains a number of safety measures intended to correct what went wrong back in
Virgin Galactic just opened the doors to Gateway to Spacea new high-tech facility for tourist spaceflightsat Spaceport America in New Mexico. Virgin Galactic showed two floors of the facility primarily focused on spaceflight operations, which also feature communal spaces designed for future Virgin Galactic customers. Photo Credit: Virgin Galactic.
Spaceport America is no longer just a shiny shell of hope that space tourism would one day launch from this remote spot in the New Mexico desert. The once-empty hangar that anchors the taxpayer-financed launch and landing facility has been transformed into a custom-tailored headquarters where Virgin Galactic will run its commercial flight operations. Two levels within the futuristic building include mission control, a preparation area for pilots and a lounge for paying customers and their friends and families. Company officials will offer the first glimpse Thursday.
Robb Report - Always in Style. Subscribe Today at Huge Savings! Thesquare-foot spaceport sits on 18, acres of state trust land in New Mexico and includes a futuristic hangar, a high-tech mission control and, most importantly, a luxurious lounge area with high-end amenities for intergalactic travelers.
As they gaze out at the mountains east of the otherworldly structure, a master of espresso arts will dose out shots from a barista island, accompanied by multiple forms of dairy and dairy alternatives. After 15 years of struggle, including the fallout from a fatal accident and a subsequent spacecraft redesign, company officials were exuberant. The company declined to say when customer flights would begin, following years of faulty prognostication from Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, who has said he will be among the first to fly.
Spaceport America, a taxpayer-funded facility in New Mexico's remote Jornada del Muerto desert, received its license to operate in and was officially "opened" by flamboyant British billionaire Richard Branson three years later. But despite having signed up more than would-be space tourists across 60 countries, including several Hollywood celebrities, the project has been hit by delays. The company has since developed a viable spacecraft that has twice touched the edge of space, and chief executive George Whitesides told AFP on Thursday he expects the first paying passengers to fly "next year.
Virgin Galactic is a spaceflight company within the Virgin Group. It is developing commercial spacecraft and aims to provide suborbital spaceflights to space tourists and suborbital launches for space science missions. Virgin Galactic plans to provide orbital human spaceflights as well.
CNN - Richard Branson's space tourism startup, Virgin Galactic, is showing off a luxurious lounge area and top-shelf amenities for its wealthy clientele. The renovations are another sign that Virgin Galactic is preparing to open for business at Spaceport America, a controversial facility that was built a decade ago using local taxpayer dollars. Images of the first-floor lounge area show a large coffee bar made of "back-lit Italian marble hovering above hand-crafted oak," according to a press release.