Space Tourism Takes Off

Space technology takes flight, pushes industry forward
New Mexico Business Weekly (requires subscription)

Major milestones achieved by commercial space companies in the past six months are fueling optimism that space tourism will, indeed, take flight in New Mexico by 2010.

“After many years of development, commercial space technology reached a turning point last year,” said Steve Landeene, executive director of the New Mexico Spaceport. “We saw hardware actually take to the air.”

Both Virgin Galactic and the Rocket Racing League (RRL) — which plan to send their first paying passengers to space next year from southern New Mexico — flew craft in 2008 that will either be used in upcoming space flights, or that contain key technology to enable the launch of new vehicles, Landeene said.