Spaceport Tours

New Mexico – New Mexico spaceport officials will begin offering paid public tours of the construction site north of Las Cruces. The so-called "hard-hat tours" will begin in December.

The tours at Spaceport America will highlight New Mexico history in the Upham area, spanning from Spanish conquistadors and pioneer rocket research to the new commercial space industry.

Tour participants get a look at the construction site, including the runway and vertical launch facility.

Spaceport officials have been working with leading aerospace firms such as Virgin Galactic, Lockheed Martin, Moog-FTS, UP Aerospace, and Armadillo Aerospace to develop commercial spaceflight at the southern New Mexico site.

The 10,000-foot long runway is expected to be complete by next summer. A terminal hangar facility should be built by early 2011.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.