Spaceport Dedication

Las Cruces – Virgin Galactic's Sir Richard Branson, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, prospective astronauts and dozens of others interested in making commercial space travel a reality are gathering Friday in the New Mexico desert to mark a major milestone.

They're celebrating completion of the runway at Spaceport America, the world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport.

The nearly two-mile long runway is designed to support almost every aircraft in the world, day-to-day space tourism and payload launch operations.

Virgin Galactic is the spaceport's anchor tenant and plans to use the facility to take tourists on flights into space, and state officials are seeking to add companies for other commercial space endeavors, such as research and payload delivery missions.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.