Preparations Underway for First Human Spaceflight from Spaceport America

SpaceShipTwo Unity on its second glide flight over Spaceport America. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

SIERRA COUNTY, NM, December 7, 2020 (NMSA PR) — The New Mexico Spaceport Authority has started preparations ahead of Virgin Galactic’s first powered spaceflight from Spaceport America. The flight window will open on December 11, pending good weather conditions and technical readiness.

“We are thrilled about hosting the first human spaceflight from New Mexico,” said Spaceport America’s Interim Executive Director Scott McLaughlin, “this is an incredible moment for the entire state. Our team has been working closely with Virgin Galactic for many months to make sure everything is ready.”

The Gateway to Space facility at Spaceport America is home to Virgin Galactic’s terminal and hangar.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only mission-critical staff will be on site for the test flight. Spaceport America is certified in the state COVID-safe practice. All teams are following New Mexico guidelines by wearing masks, keeping social distance, and staying home when possible.

As a reminder, Spaceport America is an active test facility and remains closed to public access. Launches are not open to public viewing and are subject to scheduling changes. Spaceport America is asking the public to stay home and monitor social media channels for flight updates.

Spaceport America  (https://www.spaceportamerica.com) is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, has a rocket friendly environment of 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace, low population density, a 12,000-foot by 200-foot runway, vertical launch complexes, and about 340 days of sunshine and low humidity. Some of the most respected companies in the commercial space industry are tenants at Spaceport America: Virgin GalacticHAPSMobileAeroVironmentUP Aerospace, and  SpinLaunch. Other customers include BoeingEXOS Aerospace and C6 Launch Systems.