13 December 2005 15:51
Virgin Galactic and the State of New Mexico have announced an agreement to build a 27 square mile $200 million space port in the southern part of the state.
How awesome is that!? A huge great space port from which tourists will be able to visit space and (assuming I don't die prematurely) all built in my life time. No all I need to do is start saving the cash for a ticket!
I've loved the stars, planets and space in general ever since I was a kid and Science Fiction still fascinates me now, but I don't think I ever really imagined that personal space flight would be a reality in my life time. But following the success of the X Prize and Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic it looks like this is really going to happen.
Virgin Galactic has agreed to locate its world's headquarters and Mission Control in New Mexico and strongly believes that the new spaceport will offer fledgling astronauts an experience that will be truly out of this world.
"When Burt Rutan and SpaceShipOne won the X PRIZE in October 2004, we knew the new space industry had arrived," said Secretary Rick Homans. "And when Sir Richard Branson announced that Virgin would use that same technology to fly paying passengers into space, we realized that our most important job was to convince Virgin Galactic to come to New Mexico and launch the personal spaceflight industry. This announcement is a convergence of dreams and we are proud that Virgin will be New Mexico's anchor tenant at the world's most exciting space tourism location. "
"New Mexico has worked hard to bring us to their exciting new spaceport facility," stated Will Whitehorn, President of Virgin Galactic. "The State has several factors that make it an ideal operations base: climate, free airspace, low population density, high altitude, and stunning scenery. Our team was highly impressed by the professionalism and the competitive pitch the state and its advisors developed. We look forward to working together to make the "Final Frontier" a reality for tens of thousands of pioneering space tourists. Our activities will prove the commercial viability and excellent safety technology behind private personal spaceflight and give birth to a new industry in New Mexico."
In conjunction with this announcement Virgin Galactic have also unveiled a new logo (see above) designed by renowned design guru Philippe Starck.
Philippe Starck explains: "The curiosity and adventure of the human spirit exists in the vision of a human eye, from today, through millions of years of evolution, right back to the beginning of mankind. The nebulous iris represents the infinite possibilities of this endeavour and signifies our opportunity to look back at earth from space with our own eyes for the first time. The eye's pupil incorporates an eclipse, the dawning of something new, something unique but accessible. Something far, but near."
Apparently the final design will actually be based on Richard Branson's actual iris. Branson is quoted as saying: "When I look at the logo I am reminded of childlike awe. I believe it represents all those who will watch and be a part of the growth of this amazing new commercial aviation sector. Whether they be six or sixty, all will see and believe that a new chapter in the story of space flight has begun." Like I said above, I'm one of those people that can't wait for this "new chapter in the story of space flight".