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SCI/TECH: Virgin Galactic to Build Underground Spaceport in N.M.

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posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 11:56 AM
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British owned Virgin Galactic and New Mexico state officials have jointly announced plans to build a new Commercial Spaceport facility, most of which will be underground near the White Sands Missile Range. Construction is expected to begin in early 2007 with its first commercial space flight in late 2008 or early 2009.
 



news.ya hoo.com


Virgin Galactic, the British company created by entrepreneur Richard Branson to send tourists into space, and New Mexico announced an agreement Tuesday for the state to build a $225 million spaceport.

Virgin Galactic also revealed that up to 38,000 people from 126 countries have paid a deposit for a seat on one of its manned commercial flights, including a core group of 100 "founders" who have paid the initial $200,000 cost of a flight upfront. Virgin Galactic is planning to begin flights in late 2008 or early 2009.

New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Rick Homans said construction of the spaceport, to be built largely underground in the south of the state near the White Sands Missile Range, could begin in early 2007, depending on approval from environmental and aviation authorities.

Virgin will have a 20-year lease on the facility, with annual payments of $1 million for the first five years and rising to cover the cost of the project by the end of the lease.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Great news for New Mexico, yet the word underground bothers me. Why build a commercial facility underground unless you plan on hiding something from the public?

Think about it NASA facilities are not underground so why build this facility underground? Perhaps I am jumping the gun here with my speculation. May be they have purchased part of the White Sands facility and plan on using portions of it and the media left those details out, yet I am still curious as to why the majority of it will be underground.


[edit on 12/13/2005 by shots]




posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 12:01 PM
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It's built underground for safety and space. They can build the runway (which will have to be of considerable length) over the facility itself and use lifts to transport them straight off. It makes for a quicker turnaround time.

Also, if a rocket explodes or comes in wildly off course then its going to hit some rocks instead of several high buildings.



posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 12:12 PM
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Not sure if this is the actual design or not I got it from their website. Looks like an Alien Base to me.




www.virgingalactic.com...



posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 01:59 PM
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I agree with nerdling-It is underground for safety reasons.Remember, what goes into a rocket is the ingredients for a very powerful bomb.I wouldn't want to be standing on the tarmac if something went wrong.Besides,this is going to be a public facility-no top secret stuff going on here????Or maybe Richard Branson is an alien building a secret landing base for his planets invasion army to take over our planet!!!! LOL!!!



posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 02:41 PM
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I would agree if there were rockets but the site shows them using the same craft they used previously.




The only thing I can imagine is they might have some new designs for the future that are different.



posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 02:53 PM
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Well underground or not, Virgin would be hard pressed to call that a spaceport. They actually have to go into space for that. I know they technically reach space with Spaceship One, but it's not orbit. Remind me to get excited when they start going into orbit and building things up there.



posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 03:11 PM
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Originally posted by shots
Not sure if this is the actual design or not I got it from their website. Looks like an Alien Base to me.




www.virgingalactic.com...



WOW... I wonder what the advantage is from using an eyeball as a launching pad?


Personally... I like the idea of it all... any step forward and all that...
but as the previous poster said...
wake me when they put something in orbit....



posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 03:37 PM
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Have I been here too long or is that an "Illuminati" pyramid and all seeing eye?



posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 03:57 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Have I been here too long or is that an "Illuminati" pyramid and all seeing eye?


Thats what I saw when I first looked at it too


Hopefully this is the begining of a something historically significant rather than a publicity stunt and some high hopes.



posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 06:07 PM
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I agree with reasons already stated for the underground construction. But I would add it also adds to the "cool" factor. Remember, this is for a few insanely rich idiosyncratic people who can afford it...the aura of going to secret underground base before blasting off into space would probably be more appealing than some type of purely functional design NASA would come up with.



posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 06:22 PM
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djohnsto77 raised a good point
You have to remember the whole point of this company is to sell vacations to super rich people. The whole underground base in the middle of the desert is just a cool atmosphere if you ask me.

I would bet that played a role in the design. Its inpart like that Casino in the Bahamas Atlantis if you ask me. They didnt need all that cool aquarium type stuff there but it makes for a great atmosphere.


jra

posted on Dec, 14 2005 @ 01:03 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Have I been here too long or is that an "Illuminati" pyramid and all seeing eye?


Yep, you've defiantely been here too long.
That's just the runway above the eye and the perspective makes it look sorta like a pyramid/triangular shape.

Anyway this is really cool. It's great to see Branson and crew really going ahead with all this. hopefully it doesn't take too long till the average joe can afford a ticket.



posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 07:58 PM
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I'd take out a mortgage for a chance to go up into sub-orbit lol. I'm not even rich much less "super rich". I wouldn't be one of the first.



posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 12:42 AM
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Taking a $190,000 mortgage out for a few minutes of sub orbital flight? I guess some people might do that but I wouldn't bank on many doing that.

Thats just not the type of cash most people have to throw away on a vacaction. Personally if I had that much money to send on anything I wanted I would get a lamborghini or ferrari or some other car super rich people buy.

[edit on 16-12-2005 by ShadowXIX]



posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 01:26 AM
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I'm going no matter what or who's property I mortage out I am going...



posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 06:46 PM
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While looking for a story that contained the plans for this new space port I found this article.


Source


Gov. Bill Richardson and British entrepreneur Richard Branson said Wednesday that a $225 million state-built spaceport in southern New Mexico will be the headquarters of Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

[...]

The $225 million in public funding would come from a combination of federal, state and local money, Richardson said.



As you can see the state is going to pay for this not Virgin Galactic, they get to lease it for just one million a year, which is a drop in the bucket to Branson should he go belly up.

Just what is wrong with this picture? Why should American taxpayers pay for a Foreign run project??? Yes there are also Federal tax dollars involved, kind of makes one wonder if the US has been duped by
Branson should he fail.

Does Britian finance American projects in the UK? I doubt it.



[edit on 12/16/2005 by shots]



posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 06:52 PM
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I highly doubt Virgin Galactic will be the only company to lease facilities at this new spaceport. 225 Million up front cost and a million a year per company. How many companies can this new spaceport handle is my question. How about Landing fees?

Do you think this will not pay off for the tax payers in the long run? I would personally LOVE IT if my province would put that much money towards a long term project.

Smells like job growth to me. How much in new taxes would be generated by this project as well? Will there be a launch tax for tourists to pay when they go up? Boom another source of revenue. This could turn into a serious cash cow...

Also Bransen is licensing American Technology from Scaled Composites remember?

[edit on 16-12-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 06:59 PM
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I think the investment from New Mexico will be a pittance compared to the amount of tax revenue and jobs this project would bring to the state. It seems like a good thing to me for the state.



posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 07:14 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
I think the investment from New Mexico will be a pittance compared to the amount of tax revenue and jobs this project would bring to the state. It seems like a good thing to me for the state.


I agree, however should they fail it will be the US taxpayers who take the brunt of loss and I feel that is wrong. Now if Virgin had put up lets say 75 to 100 million of the original cost, I would feel much better.

You also have to keep in mind they could have offered them tax incentives for the project which is a better alternative over full funding of the project.



posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 08:08 PM
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Why single out Virgin Galactic because they are the first company to sign on. This was in the works well before Virgin Galactic even existed. First I heard of it was during the final phase of the X-Prize and then they were trying to decide on a location. It's not exactly the right message to be sending to potential corporate customers.

I have one question though, do Airlines help to pay for the construction of Airports?



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