Sunday, July 18, 2021

Spaceport America


Just last Sunday, Richard Branson flew on the groundbreaking voyage of his Virgin Galactic designed SpaceShipTwo.   You might have read or even watched the live feed of Richard Branson's trip into outer space.  Spaceport America located in the vast New Mexico desert is where the trip began and where he landed upon return to earth. Six years ago, I drove to New Mexico to visit this futuristic place.  

I heard one commenter say that the launch location was in the middle of nowhere and that's a pretty accurate description.  When I went, I had to make a reservation in advance to meet at a specific location in the town of Truth or Consequences.  From there, a tour bus took the small group on a one hour drive in the desert to arrive at the spaceport.  In the photo above we had just arrived at the security gate and everyone got out to snap a few photos.

This building is the Virgin Galactic headquarters so the team that flew into space would have left from this facility.  The inside was still under construction when I was there so I didn't get to go inside.

Another building at this location housed the spaceport headquarters and the fire department.  The headquarters is where the entire spaceport facility is managed from.  I believe that Space X and maybe one or two other companies have now built their own facilities here.  This command center would control launches and test flights to avoid conflicts and accidents. 

Our tour guide took us out onto the extra long runway.  It looks like it goes on forever!

It was an amazing experience and one I would love to repeat one day.  Given how much space travel has evolved in the last 6 years, I bet there is a lot more to see and learn.


Travel said...

I can see long drives in the Southwest in my future. I lived near the Kennedy Space Center for Years

William Kendall said...

It looks big.

Catalyst said...

You *do* take some amazingly adventurous trips!

Revrunner said...

On a quintessentially New Mexican kind of day. :-)