Spaceport America Groundbreaking
The world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport broke ground today in southern New Mexico
With New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Spaceport America officials and supporters of commercial space development in attendance, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport broke ground today in southern New Mexico. Today’s event delivered on the promise of an exciting new age for space exploration and development, as well as a bright future for the people of New Mexico and their children. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson remarked on the importance of the groundbreaking for the spaceport. “After all of the hard work to get this project off the ground, it is gratifying to see Spaceport America finally become a reality.” Executive Director Steve Landeene of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) commented, “The groundbreaking for Spaceport America is the beginning of a historic new chapter in New Mexico’s long legacy of space and cutting-edge technology. Virgin Galactic President Will Whitehorn was excited to be at the groundbreaking for Spaceport America. “The groundbreaking is an enormous milestone for Virgin Galactic which is investing over $300 million in developing a new space launch system which will operate at Spaceport America after it opens. Today’s event clearly signals the birth of a new commercial age in space and is a proud moment for the vision and foresight of both the people and government of the state of New Mexico.” Today’s groundbreaking initiates construction on a cutting-edge, 110,000-plus square foot-facility using cost-effective, energy-efficient green building practices. In accordance with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s executive order 2006-001 for state buildings, Spaceport America’s terminal hangar facility will be built to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system. Extensive use of sustainable and clean energy technology throughout the design will ensure that the spaceport will set the standard for environmentally sound design for similar structures in the future. The design for Spaceport America’s terminal hangar facility was created by a team of American and British architects that were selected after competing in an international design competition. URS Corporation, one of the world’s largest design and engineering firms, teamed with lead designer Foster + Partners of the United Kingdom to submit the winning design.
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