Excitement Builds for Saturday Launch at Spaceport America

An artist's conception of a Virgin Galactic flight above Spaceport America in New Mexico
An artist's conception of a Virgin Galactic flight above Spaceport America in New Mexico

Saturday launch will help make Spaceport ‘real,’ officials say
New Mexico Independent

More than 350 people have signed up to attend Saturday’s educational launch from Spaceport America. Officials say that’s evidence that, as the project progresses from a proposal to reality, excitement is building.

“It’s a feeling that the public is getting behind this. Everybody senses that it’s actually real,” spaceport Executive Director Steve Landeene said in an interview.

Lots has happened in the last few months to move the publicly owned and funded spaceport from the drawing board closer to reality. The New Mexico Spaceport Authority secured a license from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate a commercial spaceport. It also inked a lease with anchor tenant Virgin Galactic. And the agency hired Gerald Martin Construction Management of Albuquerque to oversee the building of the spaceport.

Gerald Martin has been holding informational meetings to attract companies and workers to the construction project. The bidding process for various aspects of construction will soon begin. And, Ladeene said, officials have set June 19 as the target date for the groundbreaking ceremony for the primary facilities at the spaceport — a runway and terminals and other facilities for the spaceport authority and Virgin. He plans to have those facilities operational in 2010.

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