Tuesday, December 23, 2008

US getting first commercial spaceport

Per Discovery:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has given the green light for the world's first commercial spaceport, New Mexico authorities said Thursday.

The FAA granted Spaceport America a license for vertical and horizontal space launches following an environmental impact study, according to the New Mexico Space Authority (NMSA).

"These two governmental approvals are the next steps along the road to a fully operational commercial spaceport," said NMSA Executive Director Steven Landeene.

"We are on track to begin construction in the first quarter of 2009, and have our facility completed as quickly as possible."

The terminal and hangar facility for horizontal launches is planned for completion by late 2010.

So this is quite interesting. The article goes on to say that the "Virgin Galactic" plans to take 500 passengers per year for $200,000 a pop on a suborbital flight lasting three to four minutes. Of course a three to four minute space ride doesnt seem very long for 200k, but still very cool..