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Virgin Galactic to Build Space Port in New Mexico 275

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the area-fifty-two dept.
aapold writes "Virgin Galactic today announced plans to build a $225 million space port in southern New Mexico. Richard Branson will meet with governor Bill Richardson Wednesday to unveil the plans. Virgin Galactic is the company leveraging Spaceship One which, as reported by Slashdot, claimed the Ansari X prize for commercial space flight."
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Virgin Galactic to Build Space Port in New Mexico

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  • Exciting times (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Orgazmus (761208) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @08:28AM (#14255092)
    This is really exciting times. A private spaceport is emerging, and the "real" exploration of space can begin.
    I cant wait until my first moon-vacation ;D
    • Re:Exciting times (Score:4, Insightful)

      by binaryDigit (557647) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @08:35AM (#14255115)
      and the "real" exploration of space can begin.

      I think you meant to say "the real exploitation of space can begin". Think high velocity spacecraft junk is a problem now, wait till you have disposable camera wrappers and discarded "Welcome to Space!" flyers zooming around up there.
      • Who cares? It's not like space trash is going to remain in stable orbit all by itself - eventually, it'll hit the atmosphere and burn up.

        There's also nothing wrong with exploiting space. It's not like it's a person who you're taking advantage of. It is a resource, nothing more.

        -Erwos
        • Who cares?

          I sure hope you're from america, otherwise I'm going to cry for the rest of humanity.

          Also, you should still managej your resources responsibly. My bank account is nothing more than a resource, but I dont want it to be exploited.
          • Re:Exciting times (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Erwos (553607)
            Bad comparison. You have personal ownership of your bank account. No one has personal ownership of an asteroid.

            You can exploit a resource responsibly, too. You need to stop thinking of exploitation as "taking advantage of", and start thinking of "making use of".

            -Erwos
      • wait till you have disposable camera wrappers and discarded "Welcome to Space!" flyers zooming around up there.

        Then the spacecraft operators will need to inform their customers to keep their hands and feet inside the spaceship at all times and keep all doors and windows securely fastened.
      • I think once true colonization of space begins that very little if anything will be considered "trash". I would imagine most everything hauled up at expensive-per-pound will be built to be either well constructed and used for a long time or rebuildable/upgradeable or designed to be recyclable. Even various oerganic "wastes" will be reprocessed and used in space farming or energy production, liquids reclaimed for their H20 content, etc, etc. People only throw away things when they are cheap or broken now in
    • This brings a Star Wars quote to mind... "Mos Eisley spaceport: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious."

      Sheesh! There are some people who have way too much money.
      They'll be the first ones up against the wall when the revolution comes!
      Yeah!, them and those wasters who post to slashdot!

      Bugger.
    • A high altitidue balloon based launch platform .

      Imagine a platform at 160,000 feet, that uses a mass driver to toss cargo into low orbit .

      High altitude ballons could carry the cargo to the platform 30 miles above the earth .

      NASA has already done a small scale version of this :

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/02082 7063353.htm [sciencedaily.com]

      It would be a huge and complex task, but imagine a giant platform with many ballons in case one
      fails, and a magnetic mass driver near the center to toss cargo into low orbit
      • The anti mass driver crowd.

        Nowhere but slashdot.
      • Hardly (Score:3, Informative)

        by Ethidium (105493)
        Nasa has sent balloons into high orbit, without mass drivers.

        AND, people at MIT have built mass drivers, and used them on terra firma! And other people have thought about using them on the moon.

        That's what your links say. Oh, and an offhand comment, that "SSI is conducting a feasibility study on the use of an aerostatically supported mass driver for terrestrial launch of bulk payloads." Just that sentence, nothing more.

        The reaction force from the launch would be enormous, though--F=m*a, so take whatever
        • Re:Hardly (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mi (197448)

          Doesn't sound too bad until you think about an aerostatically supported platform trying to launch things into predictable orbits while oscillating all over the place from the reaction force of the launches.

          Very precise-hitting missiles are known to be launchable from hunks of steel flying miles above the earth. Once launched, in other words, the rocket can correct itself even if the platform oscillated and stumbled because of the launch.

          Who would staff a platform at an altitude of 30 miles? How would yo

          • You're talking about rockets; the parent poster was talking about railguns. Very important difference, although I suppose you could have a vehicle with manoeuvring thursters get its original "kick" from a railgun.

            Also, I would suppose, although I'm certainly amenable to seeing the numbers worked out, that the energy advantage from lifting this entire platform on balloons every time you wanted to use it would not outweigh the additional costs of the system as I mentioned above. Rockoons were a neat (althou
        • "Who would staff a platform at an altitude of 30 miles?"
          Me.

          "How much would you pay them, given the hazardous nature of the work?"
          $200 000/yr.

          "How would you get them up and down?"
          Jetpacks.

          Any more questions mr smarty pants?

      • Instead of a mass driver, checkout the idea that these people have. Using ion thrusters to drive a lighter than air (at some altitude) airfoil/ballon to LEO. http://www.jpaerospace.com/ [jpaerospace.com]
    • This is really exciting times. A private spaceport is emerging, and the "real" exploration of space can begin. I cant wait until my first moon-vacation ;D

      So you think the real exploration of space begins with millionaires the political elite taking $200,000 ballistic rocket rides? There is a fair technological difference between the Virgin Atlantic's proposed service and NASA's new lunar exploration program. If it was anyone other than Burt Rutan behind this I would be even more skeptical, but I do thin

    • Indeed, while reading this story I was briefly able to suspend my disbelief a bit (and more importantly, my actual knowledge about what's really happening) and read a story about Virgin Galactic opening up a new spaceport like it was common, everyday news. For the first time in recent history I felt like I was living in the future.
  • Good for Business? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TwoTailedFox (894904)
    I'm trying to think of the long-term implications of having a space-port. You have noise pollution, traffic problems, and money that the populace argues would be better spent elsewhere, say, Africa, or Brixton, UK.

    The commercial opportunities must far outweigh those potential problems.
    • by ocelotbob (173602)
      They do. Cheap travel into space means opportunities in metallurgy, mining, medicine, and tourism, just to name a few industries. New Mexico isn't England, it's large, sparse, with a lot of area that, simply put, isn't easily inhabitable, thus mitigating a lot of the pollution problems that come with any large industrial venture. Traffic is not a very major problem as well; the area already has a freeway bisecting it that could handle a few thousand more people in terms of traffic with no problem. New Mexic
    • by m93 (684512) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @08:47AM (#14255173)
      I tried putting one in my town on SimCity, and it did nothing but cause problems.
    • Space == Money (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) <obsessivemathsfreakNO@SPAMeircom.net> on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @09:01AM (#14255226) Homepage Journal
      The commercial opportunities must far outweigh those potential problems.

      No kidding. Branson's investement is pretty much a no brainer. Estimates of price per ticket are at around $200,000 dollars a seat, times seven passengers is $1.4 million dollars in cash per flight.

      Branson's in the airline business already. I'm not sure about the specifics of it, but I seriously doubt that there are any regular commercial flights out there that pull in $1.4 million dollars per trip. Even those that come close would be 747 type aircraft that probably cost as much to run as SpaceShipTwo will anyway. Can we get some figures here?

      Now I would have said that Branson's best bet was to set up shop in some middle of nowhere location, to dodge regulations. But the fact that he's setting up shop inside the US shows that he's serious about doing things professionally. Nonetheless I expect customers will be expected to sign off in the event of an accident.

      As to potential customers. Does anyone seriously suggest that Branson won't be able to find people willing to spend $200,000 on a trip into orbit. There are thousands of people who spend ten times that on a boat. I think he'll manage to fill a plane once a week at least.

      Step 1: Wait for private group to develop initial technology.
      Step 2: Buy group and its technology.
      Step 3: Scale up development
      Step 4: Charge suckers $200,000 per flight AND satisfy them
      Step 3: PROFIT!!
    • by AnswerIs42 (622520) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @09:19AM (#14255312) Homepage
      I lived in Las Cruces, NM for a few years. So let me put it this way...

      noise pollution : No one is going to notice.. well, no HUMAN is going to notice. Between TorC (as everyone calls is) and Las Cruces.. there is a whole lot of NOTHING. Just miles and miles and miles of desert. Well, there are a couple of very small communities if you stay next to the interstate.

      traffic problems : Non issue there is hardly any traffic now.. the road would be a little busier because peopel would have to live in TorC or Las Cruces that is a plus for both cities.

      money that the populace argues would be better spent elsewhere : HAH! I take it you have never seen the area... Go 4 minutes outside the city limits of Las Cruces and you are IN the third world country within the USA. This will pump millions of MUCH NEEDED money into the area.

      They have been waiting 10+ years for this. It is nice to see it finally happening. One section of Las Cruces even split off a few years back (~ '96-'97).. became incorperated and called temselves "spaceport City" because they were dead sure that a spaceport would be built by '99. By late '98 and early '99 they were out of money (they had to make a lot of improvements to fit the terms of becoming a city) and the residents dumped the idea and voted to become a 'burb of Las Cruces again and forget the whole incorperation thing.

      • NM (Score:5, Informative)

        by jbeaupre (752124) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:36AM (#14256245)
        He's dead on. I grew up in NM and went to school in Cruces. The state loves the strange (go to Sante Fe some day) and the dangerous (Los Alamos, Sandia, White Sands). A space port? It's in the blood. The first liquid fueled rocket by Goddard was launched in Roswell, V2's were tested at White Sands, and in general, people love to launch and blow stuff up. You've got a thousand PhD types blowing the crap out of anything they can get their hands on. If they'd put it on cable, it'd be the top red-neck channel. A friend even got college credit in explosives while working at Sandia. The biggest disappointment for locals will be that the spaceships won't blow up. "Another dud!"

        As for 3rd world, a couple of interesting facts (which might be outdated). NM has the highest school dropout rate and the highest PhD per capita. AND the bordor patrol has a station NORTH of Las Cruces. Putting it south of there would interfer with international commuters.
      • by adamanthaea (723150) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:49AM (#14256375)
        Agreed. There is practically nothing between TorC and Cruces. Heck, there is practically nothing between Socorro and TorC for that matter. If they had to ditch the craft they could try putting it in one of the lakes instead of the desert. For that matter, there's practically nothing to the east until you get past White Sands to Alamogordo and basically nothing at all in New Mexico to the west and still not much until you cross into Arizona and eventually get to Phoenix. And traffic on I-25? You've gotta be kidding me. You can drive for a long time between Cruces and Albuquerque and have whole sections where the only car you can see on the road is the one you're in. The biggest bottleneck would be that Border Patrol checkpoint north of Cruces and maybe they couldn't easily expand the highway through that S-curve south of TorC and crossing that canyon north of TorC (Nogal?). What's kinda funny is that there have been signs on I-25 for years now at the approximate spot. "Future Site of the New Mexico Spaceport." I just figured it was some local pipe-dream. Still, I'll believe it when I see it. New Mexico has a history of losing companies that started there.
    • by z0idberg (888892)
      Lots of job opportunities for the local population. Someone has to work there to keep the place running. Specialists would move to the area to work there as well meaning new housing developments etc so more growth in construction, retail stores in the area etc. Then if it really takes off your state/area could become the space capital of the world which would could easily be worth billions (trillions?). If you have the real estate to spare I would think it would be worth the investment.
  • Careful there.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by c0dedude (587568) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @08:32AM (#14255105)
    Remember, the CEOs of tech companies failed to constrain costs in the late 1990s, and we know what happened to them. Be very careful in spending. Consider whether this port is absolutly necesssary.
    • by tpgp (48001) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @08:40AM (#14255142) Homepage
      Remember, the CEOs of tech companies failed to constrain costs in the late 1990s, and we know what happened to them. Be very careful in spending. Consider whether this port is absolutly necesssary.

      Two points:

      1) They have a practical source of income - with the first two million allready accounted for

      2) "Tech companies" did not fail to constrain costs in the late 1990s, internet startups failed to have viable business plans. There is a big difference.
      • 2) "Tech companies" did not fail to constrain costs in the late 1990s, internet startups failed to have viable business plans. There is a big difference.

        What's not viable about selling dimes for nickels and making up the loss in volume?

    • Re:Careful there.... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Mike1024 (184871) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @09:30AM (#14255355)
      Remember, the CEOs of tech companies failed to constrain costs in the late 1990s, and we know what happened to them. Be very careful in spending. Consider whether this port is absolutly necesssary.

      Of course, Branson [wikipedia.org] is a businessman with a successful track record [wikipedia.org], and his personal fortune of approximately $5,300 million [wikipedia.org] would allow him to absorb the complete failure of this $225 million spaceport (although obviously no-one would want to lose that much money).

      Michael
    • Remember, the CEOs of tech companies failed to constrain costs in the late 1990s, and we know what happened to them. Be very careful in spending. Consider whether this port is absolutly necesssary.

      "The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn't have a space program."
      -Larry Niven
  • Hmm (Score:3, Funny)

    by TallMatthew (919136) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @08:35AM (#14255114)
    Virgin Galactic said it had chosen New Mexico as the site for its headquarters because of its steady climate, free airspace, low population density and high altitude. All those factors can significantly reduce the cost of the space flight program.

    Low population density significantly reduces the cost of the space flight program? I guess they're assuming there will be some bourgeois shrapnel flying around.

    I wonder what the road sign looks like that warns against burning appendages falling from the sky.

    • Re:Hmm (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CrazyTalk (662055)
      Low population density = cheap land. Not to mention plenty of room to grow and fewer legal hurdles, complaining residents, etc. Imagine trying to build a spaceport in Manhattan!
    • Re:Hmm (Score:4, Informative)

      by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrother@NosPAm.optonline.net> on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @10:06AM (#14255565) Journal
      Low population density significantly reduces the cost of the space flight program? I guess they're assuming there will be some bourgeois shrapnel flying around.

      Actually, that's correct, from the standpoint of safety. They can't afford to immolate too many people if one of these things crashes or explodes for some reason. The area south of T-or-C and north of Las Cruces is sparsely populated, mostly open area, and is bordered to the east by White Sands, and even further east by Roswell. I'm sure Virgin Galactic is hoping to lure the ET contingent. Anyway, they're trying to keep the insurance rates down.

      NASA originally considered the White Sands area for launching the Apollo Saturn V, but decided it was too dangerous, as one Saturn V carried the destructive power of an atomic bomb. They did do engine testing for the Lunar Module and Service Module there.

      And if you drive north of T-or-C to the small town of San Antonio, you can stop at the Owl Bar and Cafe for the best green chile cheeseburgers in all the world. [end shameless plug]

  • Awesome (Score:5, Funny)

    by iamdrscience (541136) <michaelmtripp@gm ... om minus painter> on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @08:35AM (#14255117) Homepage
    The spaceport, to be located some 25 miles south of the town of Truth or Consequences
    That's got to be one of the best names for a town ever. Right up there with Yeehaw Junction, Florida and Ding Dong, Texas.
    • I thought it sounded like a good name for a GSV [wikipedia.org]. They must name at least one ship after it...
    • Re:Awesome (Score:2, Informative)

      by deltree1010 (909548)
      Apparently they changed their name from Hot Springs in 1950 to that of a popular radio show. "Originally called Hot Springs, it took the name of a popular radio program in 1950, when Truth or Consequences host Ralph Edwards announced that he would do the program from the first town that renamed itself after the show. Ralph Edwards came to the town during the first weekend of May for the next fifty years." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth_or_Consequences ,_New_Mexico [wikipedia.org]
      • It's so funny when small dying towns whore themselves out in sheer desperation. It's like paying homeless people to fight or going to the strip club and offering desperate single mothers $1 bills to rub your junk. America the beautiful.

        -Eric

    • The town used to be named "Hot Springs" but they changed it for the game show in the 50s. The host of the show said he would host it from the first town willing to rename itself.

      Given the latest bits, it may not be the best in references, but:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth_or_consequences [wikipedia.org]
  • there'll be a rush to buy property in all places that are suitable for launch sites.
    that is on the equator, facing east, and with good infrastructure around ;)

    now is the time to buy ;)
  • Chump Change... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by joey_knisch (804995) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @08:37AM (#14255127)
    Compared to NASA.

    They spent $800 million on a new launch center... IN 1962
  • by ch-chuck (9622) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @08:39AM (#14255139) Homepage
    Think of all the money they'll save hiring undocumented workers.
  • its just the set of Space Cadets 2 [channel4.com].
  • So... who's got a truck big enough for a whale?

  • non-orbital (Score:5, Informative)

    by close_wait (697035) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @09:01AM (#14255225)
    For the Nth time: in response to all the inevitable "far cheaper than NASA" posts; this is not an orbital launch - it just goes up to the edge of space, then straight down again. And getting into orbit isn't just going that "little bit extra"; a spacecraft in low earth orbit has about 15 times the potential + kinetic energy of a spacecraft that is at the same height but is just at the top of a vertical up/down loop.
    • Re:non-orbital (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ajpr (921401) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @09:59AM (#14255532)
      I think what they mean is that it is cheaper than an equivalent NASA attempt. NASA doesn't do sub-orbital launches, and therefore any similar launch by NASA would cost a lot more in terms of $ and safety. To get to orbit you can't use the hybrid engines that SpaceShipOne has, there's just not enough kick per unit mass. And the Shuttle only manages to crawl into space because of its solid rocket boosters, that massive tank in between the SRBs (liquid H2/O2 mix) contributes a small % to the overall thrust.

      The technology for sub-orbital flights obviously has been around for a long time. Yet the costs involved for even sub-orbital launches have always been high due them being entirely governmental companies. The X-Prize was setup to find out the cheapest way to get the ordinary person into space, whereas the state space programs have always been about pushing the boundaries of human exploration. The cheapest way is to only go as far as the edge of space to save massively on the thrust and energy requirements. The savings that this makes can then be offset by using a less effective fuel (hybrid), but that has the advantage of being a lot safer. The hybrid engines use fuels that generally are easy to store safely (non of this cryogenic nonsense like the shuttle) and also can be switched off in the event of a malfunction (SRBs once lit burn all the way to the tip).

      People will still have to pay $20 million to the russians to go into space for a few days, so there is still going to be a large gap between those that go sub-orbital and the few that can afford to pay for orbital space access.

      • NASA doesn't do sub-orbital launches, and therefore any similar launch by NASA would cost a lot more in terms of $ and safety.

        Totally wrong, NASA has an entire facility ( Wallops Flight Facility [nasa.gov] on Wallops Island, Virginia) devoted exclusively to sub-orbital launches. I launched a balloon w/ telescope payload (went up to 20 miles altitude) from there back in the mid-90's. They also launch rockets and all other sorts of sub-orbital payloads, and research suborbital spacecraft from there as well.

      • huh ? what ???

        The efficiency of H2/O2 is far greater than any solid fueled rockets ... I think you should rethink your math on the small % of overall thrust coming from the shuttle main engines.

    • This is not an orbital launch... but once the industry is developed it will improve over time. Within 50 years, have no doubts, they will be sending people to orbit, for a fraction of the cost of NASA.

      Much the same way single engine airplanes are not 747s, and humanity didn't jump straight from the Train to building huge International Jetways all over the world. They started building small airports, not much fancier than a farmers fields, and within 50 years the jet age began. You don't start building an en
    • For the Nth time: in response to all the inevitable "far cheaper than NASA" posts; this is not an orbital launch - it just goes up to the edge of space, then straight down again. And getting into orbit isn't just going that "little bit extra"; a spacecraft in low earth orbit has about 15 times the potential + kinetic energy of a spacecraft that is at the same height but is just at the top of a vertical up/down loop.

      For the Nth time: in response to all the inevitable "NASA goes to orbit this is just sub-o

  • There are more ways to reduce the costs of this base:
    1. Let discovery channel make a documentary "Megastructures: Building the spaceport" and get paid for it (ofcourse).
    2. Rent the spaceport, still under construction out to the movie: Space comboys II: Now the spaceport is broken, and they have to fix that before a spaceship can land. Ofcourse one of the cowboys is on board to keep it unpredictably longer in robit by burning the furniture in the engines, and to make the impossible landing.
    3. Lots of mov
  • We appologise for the delay in landing. This was caused by engineering works. Please be advised that this suttle will no longer be arriving in New Mexico but will be re-routed via Siberia. Suitable bus transport will be provided (eventually)
  • Virgin Galactic has too much of a Cherry 2000 thing going on.
  • Ugh. PHB-speak ahoy! (Score:5, Informative)

    by meringuoid (568297) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @09:22AM (#14255327)
    Virgin Galactic is the company leveraging Spaceship One which, as reported by Slashdot, claimed the Ansari X prize for commercial space flight.

    Whatever happened to the verb 'to use'? As in 'Virgin Galactic is the company using Spaceship One'.

    Anyone who uses the word 'leverage' in any context where the concept of newton metres is absent, or as a verb in any context at all, deserves to be slapped about the face with a kipper until they're sorry.

    • I didn't us... er.. actualize the word "leverage" word when I submitted the story. I cannot recall what word i used, but it was probably rewritten for the better.
    • Oooh-ooh, maybe I should start to leverage my scientific vocabulary slightly incorrectly. Only then will we gain the amplitude to become managers.

      Let's torque these bugs

      I received a mole of spam this morning.

      I'm hoping my open source app will gain popularity through osmosis.

      I sent the UI to the usability lab for some titration.

      His technical knowledge lead him to become a singularity around the office.

      I could come up with more, but this topic is too volatile.

  • by Cabby (39912) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @09:22AM (#14255328) Homepage
    I see from the The Register [theregister.co.uk] that Philippe Starck is going to design the new base. I wonder if they picked him solely due to his War of the Worlds lookalike lemon squeezer?
  • by The Fun Guy (21791) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @09:33AM (#14255372) Homepage Journal
    The spaceport, to be located some 25 miles south of the town of Truth or Consequences, will be constructed 90 percent underground, with just the runway and supporting structures above ground.

    Some people might think that they are going to all of the trouble and expense of digging out tunnels and pits to construct living quarters, maintenance, etc. is for energy efficiency or something.

    The real reason is more unsavory.

    If you are announcing your intention to build a conventional (above ground) 60,000 square foot multi-building compound, it will be obvious to everyone if you only build the first 5000 square foot building, and leave the rest for when you actually turn a profit. If it's "90 percent underground", then you can just dig out for that first little structure, put a few 5' side tunnels on and install locked doors in front of the dirt. Who can tell the difference? If you slap labels like "Authorized Personnel Only" or "Hazardous Area - Do Not Enter", then you don't have to open the doors for the reporters who come to tour the "spaceport".

    What this means is that they can put up a few sheds and bunkers above ground, build one showcase underground structure to show the reporters and passengers (who come in one or two at a time). Have a few bulldozers and dumptrucks drive around for awhile "building" the rest, then call it a spaceport. That might give them enough time to do a few flights to get the money coming in, then they can actually build the rest of it (probably above ground, with a cover story about how the original underground plans were too expensive). If the project tanks, they walk away without having sunk a lot of money in the thing.

    If you can't see it, it isn't there.
  • Guess it kinda makes sense that a recognizable name should be used for the spaceport...
  • They are not leveraging spaceship one -- they are using it.

    Don't use the word leverage unless you can give an estimate in newton meters. Doing otherwise makes you sound like a PHB.

  • Will it have (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Galston (895804)
    Will it have a duty free shop and if so what will it sell?
  • If you've ever travelled on Virgin trains (assuming you can find one running!) you'd never want to trust the same company to put you into space! If they can't even run a train line what hope do they have of running space flights!
  • Just Imagine if EasyJet gets in on this....the flight will cost just $50 one way plus spaceport taxes of $25,000 but you will have to pay extra for oxygen, a spacesuit and a seat!
  • by StefanJ (88986) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @01:17PM (#14257138) Homepage Journal
    . . . won't open until 2078.

    And even then, the alien brothels won't take worthless earth-currency.

    Of course, you could get some house credit by volunteering to have a horny L'CHHHTTTTHhhh plunge her ovipositer into your abdomen. The house doctor can usually dig the eggs out in time. But still, after a few times you get a reputation and . . .

    Oh, sorry, this is a Virgin Spaceport. No red light district. The only bars serve lemonade and alcohol free margaritas.

    Stefan
  • ...will be a whale.
  • A spaceport already exists today in Oklahoma.

    (I am not making this up [state.ok.us])

  • Hopefully they'll employ that cutting edge technology devised by those U.K. Television execs and install gravity generators on all outbound vehicles.
  • They should have put this thing in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. People are talking about expanding the experimental suborbital one there. [wistechnology.com]

    Apparently launching East over water is convenient in case your rocket has a problem. FYI, Sheboygan is on Lake Michigan. [google.com]

    I can think of two other advantages. First it's a lot closer to large population centers than New Mexico which is good assuming you're blowing up over the lake rather than in Milwaukee. People can get to the launch pad a lot easier via ORD or MKE. And second, y

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