Yes folks space travel is coming to New Mexico U.S.A. at $200,000 a pop for at best five minutes of free fall in the middle of a two hour flight. As hard as it is to believe there are already 250 people signed up for a trip that is hoped to take place as soon as next year.
That is if construction goes ahead as planned after Gov. Bill Richardson breaks ground on what will become Spaceport America. The construction will include the terminal, hangar facility and a 10,000 foot runway from which the spacecraft will take flight attached to an airplane. Then once airborne it will break away from the aircraft and rocket 62 miles into space before returning to the shiny new terminal.
“It’s real,” said Steve Landeene, the spaceport’s executive director. “You’re not talking about things drawn on paper anymore. The boondoggle factor has started to disappear.”
The spaceport will operate like an airport, offering a location where aerospace companies can lease building and hangar space. Virgin Galactic, a company owned by British billionaire Sir Richard Branson, will be the spaceport’s anchor tenant.
Competitors such as XCOR Aerospace and Armadillo Aerospace are developing spacecraft for $95,000 flights. And as flights become more routine, costs should drop.
Similar spaceport ventures are proposed in Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and elsewhere. Besides New Mexico, Virgin Galactic also hopes to ferry tourists to space from northern Sweden.
$200,000 for five minutes of freefall – wow – who said we were in the middle of a recession.