(LAS CRUCES, NM)—Spaceport America congratulates Virgin Galactic on their receipt today of an experimental launch permit from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for powered flight of the SpaceShipTwo spacecraft.
Christine Anderson, Executive Director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA), said, “This is another major milestone for Virgin Galactic as they progress toward powered flight testing of their spaceflight system.”
NMSA is in the final stages of the completion of the 110,000 sq. ft. “Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space” terminal hangar building located at Spaceport America. Virgin Galactic is set to begin their final fit-out work in the facility this year before their commencement of commercial operations.
More information on Virgin Galactic powered flight permitting can be found at:
ABOUT SPACEPORT AMERICA:
Spaceport America is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. It is situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the US Army White Sands Missile Range. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Company is the spaceport's anchor tenant. Spaceport America has been providing commercial vertical launch services since 2006. Phase One of the spaceport development is expected to be complete in 2012. Phase Oneincludes the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space Terminal Hangar Facility, the Spaceport Operations Center, the 10,000-foot runway and supporting infrastructure.
Phase Two activities have begun and include improvements to the vertical launch complex, 2,000 ft. runway extension, additional road access to the spaceport, and the development of a world-class Visitor Experience that includes two Welcome Centers and a Visitor Center designed to delight and inspire spaceport guests.
To date, there have been 15 vertical launches at Spaceport America. Customers include Armadillo Aerospace, UP Aerospace, MOOG FTS and Lockheed Martin.