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Virgin Galactic will be building a $200m spaceport in the southern part of the state on a 27 square mile area of state land in New Mexico, as the base for operations of the composite SpaceShipOne.
“”When Burt Rutan and SpaceShipOne won the X PRIZE in October 2004, we knew the new space industry had arrived,”” said State Secretary Rick Homans. “”And when Sir Richard Branson announced that Virgin would use that same technology to fly paying passengers into space, we realized that our most important job was to convince Virgin Galactic to come to New Mexico and launch the personal spaceflight industry. This announcement is a convergence of dreams and we are proud that Virgin will be New Mexico’s anchor tenant at the world’s most exciting space tourism location. “”
“”New Mexico has worked hard to bring us to their exciting new spaceport facility,”” stated Will Whitehorn, President of Virgin Galactic. “”The State has several factors that make it an ideal operations base: climate, free airspace, low population density, high altitude, and stunning scenery. Our team was highly impressed by the professionalism and the competitive pitch the state and its advisors developed. We look forward to working together to make the “”Final Frontier”” a reality for tens of thousands of pioneering space tourists. Our activities will prove the commercial viability and excellent safety technology behind private personal spaceflight and give birth to a new industry in New Mexico.””
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