Regional
10:32 am
Mon December 14, 2009

Spaceport Flights Could Begin In 2011

Las Cruces – As the world's first commercial spaceship was unveiled last week in California, many New Mexicans found themselves wondering how long it will be before the aircraft launches from a New Mexico spaceport now under construction.

The spaceship, dubbed SpaceShipTwo, had been under secret development for two years in the Mojave Desert.

The company that built it, Virgin Galactic, plans to sell suborbital space rides for $200,000 a ticket, offering passengers 2 1/2-hour flights that include about five minutes of weightlessness.

Meanwhile, state-owned Spaceport America is being built in southern Sierra County and could be done in late 2010 or early 2011.

Steve Landeene, executive director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority, says SpaceShipTwo could launch as early as 2011.

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Information from: the Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com/

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.