New Mexico celebrates first spaceport runway

Posted by Mark Raby

It's a major milestone today for the future of commercial space travel as the first runway at the world's first spaceport has been completed.

Spaceport America in what was once a desolate New Mexico desert is the first of its kind to not only offer the resources to support virtually every type of aircraft in the world, it will also house space tourism and other spacecraft launches.

Virgin Galactic has already signed on to be the flagship provider of service out of the New Mexico spaceport. It plans to begin offering scheduled day trips to outer space in the next couple years. The ambitious company has poured in buckets of money to New Mexico to help get this project off the ground.

The spaceport will also be used for other private space missions, like explorations, research, and payload delivery. It may also be used later for standard airplane operations as well for private jets.

Today, Virgin CEO Sir Richard Branson will join New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and future space tourists for an event at the site of the spaceport, as the runway is officially christened.

As the old saying goes, "If you build it, they will come." But for now, only the rich will be able to come. Tickets on Virgin Galactic's space flight currently sell for $100,000.