Among the many things about living in the year 2010 that blow my mind (robot vacuums, smartphones, Google Books), the fact that we are at the beginning of commercial space flight is, incredibly, not constantly on my mind. Yet advances are constantly being made, most visibly by Virgin Galactic, which just this last week inaugurated the commercial facility for vertically- and horizontally-launching aircraft. I mean spacecraft. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to saying that.
Spaceport America, in addition to having a snazzy logo, sports training facilities for Virgin Galactic
pilots spacemen, a 10,000ft runway, and will serve as Virgin Galactic’s headquarters for the next two decades. Want to visit? Good luck with that — you should probably just watch this video.
It’s put together by travel blog Gadling, whose crew got to chat up the ever-charming Richard Branson, his eerily similar son (though to be fair, why wouldn’t you want to grow up just like Richard Branson?), and a few other dignitaries and officials. With any luck, the facility will be bustling with commercial spacecraft over the next couple years, though I don’t suppose there are so many that they’ll need an extra runway any time soon.
Note that in the future, Spaceport America is scheduled to look much more like a StarCraft unit:
You may wish to postpone your visit until then.