......................................................................................................................................................................................................................
  SP^ CEPORT  . (2014)  Spaceport America is the world's first purposefully built commercial spaceport. It was constructed by the State of New Mexico for exclusive use by private sector companies, and not government space agencies. This series is a look at a 21st century spaceport and it's closest neighboring town, Truth or Consequences. Taken together, the two places offer a fascinating dichotomy between a western American town that can sometimes feel like another planet, and a spaceport that promises to take passengers into outer space.

SP^CEPORT. (2014)

Spaceport America is the world's first purposefully built commercial spaceport. It was constructed by the State of New Mexico for exclusive use by private sector companies, and not government space agencies. This series is a look at a 21st century spaceport and it's closest neighboring town, Truth or Consequences. Taken together, the two places offer a fascinating dichotomy between a western American town that can sometimes feel like another planet, and a spaceport that promises to take passengers into outer space.

 Hot Springs, New Mexico changed its name to Truth or Consequences (or T or C as the residents call it) in 1950 to win a contest posed by a radio show of the same name. The host pledged to air the radio show in the first town that changed its name to Truth or Consequences. Although there have been referendums held since to change the name back to Hot Springs, none has yet passed.

Hot Springs, New Mexico changed its name to Truth or Consequences (or T or C as the residents call it) in 1950 to win a contest posed by a radio show of the same name. The host pledged to air the radio show in the first town that changed its name to Truth or Consequences. Although there have been referendums held since to change the name back to Hot Springs, none has yet passed.

 Today, T or C is home to about 6,000 residents.

Today, T or C is home to about 6,000 residents.

download (3).jpg
  Much like other towns in New Mexico, T or C self identifies as an artistic community. In some senses, an affinity for art is not unlike an affinity for spaceflight. There are a lot of intellectual reasons to support either, but ultimately the drive to paint, write, or fly is not for survival, it is for living.

Much like other towns in New Mexico, T or C self identifies as an artistic community. In some senses, an affinity for art is not unlike an affinity for spaceflight. There are a lot of intellectual reasons to support either, but ultimately the drive to paint, write, or fly is not for survival, it is for living.

download (5).jpg
 The spaceport is located about 30 miles outside of town. The State of New Mexico is building a visitor center in T or C.

The spaceport is located about 30 miles outside of town. The State of New Mexico is building a visitor center in T or C.

 Spaceport America was built in the high desert, surrounded by buffalo ranches owned by Ted Turner. It's located on the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro Trail, a historic trade route between Mexico City and San Juan Pueblo, New Mexico. The El Camino Real became an official Spanish conquistador route starting in the 1500s, but some say natives were using the trail hundreds of years before. As you approach the spaceport, it's easy to miss the main terminal. It was designed to blend in with its historic landscape and preserve the surrounding rancher community.

Spaceport America was built in the high desert, surrounded by buffalo ranches owned by Ted Turner. It's located on the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro Trail, a historic trade route between Mexico City and San Juan Pueblo, New Mexico. The El Camino Real became an official Spanish conquistador route starting in the 1500s, but some say natives were using the trail hundreds of years before. As you approach the spaceport, it's easy to miss the main terminal. It was designed to blend in with its historic landscape and preserve the surrounding rancher community.

 With little existing infrastructure previously in place, Spaceport America has had to not only create a small self-sustaining city from scratch, but also one capable of supporting vertical and horizontal space launch for paying customers. Although much progress has been achieved (there wasn't even a paved road here to start), there are still more buildings and fuel farms to be built. Staged progress in some cases has led to ghostly parking lots with no adjoining buildings.

With little existing infrastructure previously in place, Spaceport America has had to not only create a small self-sustaining city from scratch, but also one capable of supporting vertical and horizontal space launch for paying customers. Although much progress has been achieved (there wasn't even a paved road here to start), there are still more buildings and fuel farms to be built. Staged progress in some cases has led to ghostly parking lots with no adjoining buildings.

 When you look up at the spaceport, the sky is ironically free of aircraft of any kind. Its location was partly driven by it's proximity to White Sands Missile Test Range. The range is just behind the mountains in view of the spaceport. This blocks any airplanes from entering its airspace - to the advantage of the spaceport.

When you look up at the spaceport, the sky is ironically free of aircraft of any kind. Its location was partly driven by it's proximity to White Sands Missile Test Range. The range is just behind the mountains in view of the spaceport. This blocks any airplanes from entering its airspace - to the advantage of the spaceport.

 The main runway is Spaceway 16-34. It has the same markings as any standard airport runway, but this 10,000 foot strip will be where carrier aircraft to take off and release space vehicles for launch in mid-air.

The main runway is Spaceway 16-34. It has the same markings as any standard airport runway, but this 10,000 foot strip will be where carrier aircraft to take off and release space vehicles for launch in mid-air.

 The Spaceport Operations Center (affectionately called the "sock") will serve as the nerve center. The upper floor of the facility will house the mission control center. The FAA, not NASA, will regulate and license commercial space operations at Spaceport America.

The Spaceport Operations Center (affectionately called the "sock") will serve as the nerve center. The upper floor of the facility will house the mission control center. The FAA, not NASA, will regulate and license commercial space operations at Spaceport America.

 Horizontal launch will be the main attraction at the beginning of operations when the suborbital passenger service Virgin Galactic begins operation, but small suborbital atmospheric research launches are already taking place now. SpaceX plans to bring reusable rocket booster testing to the spaceport in 2014. The facility's vertical launch range is about four miles southwest of the main terminal.

Horizontal launch will be the main attraction at the beginning of operations when the suborbital passenger service Virgin Galactic begins operation, but small suborbital atmospheric research launches are already taking place now. SpaceX plans to bring reusable rocket booster testing to the spaceport in 2014. The facility's vertical launch range is about four miles southwest of the main terminal.

 Virgin Galactic is the anchor tenant of Spaceport America, and has exclusive use of the main terminal, now named the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space. The terminal will house Virgin's WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft, and SpaceShipTwo when operational flights begin. It is here that customers will suit up and prepare for their flight to space.

Virgin Galactic is the anchor tenant of Spaceport America, and has exclusive use of the main terminal, now named the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space. The terminal will house Virgin's WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft, and SpaceShipTwo when operational flights begin. It is here that customers will suit up and prepare for their flight to space.

 As spaceport passengers file into the main terminal for their flight, hidden doors cinematically hiss open to welcome them. It's here passengers can look over their shoulders one last time and gaze back through the corridor to the desert.

As spaceport passengers file into the main terminal for their flight, hidden doors cinematically hiss open to welcome them. It's here passengers can look over their shoulders one last time and gaze back through the corridor to the desert.

SP^CEPORT. (2014)

Spaceport America is the world's first purposefully built commercial spaceport. It was constructed by the State of New Mexico for exclusive use by private sector companies, and not government space agencies. This series is a look at a 21st century spaceport and it's closest neighboring town, Truth or Consequences. Taken together, the two places offer a fascinating dichotomy between a western American town that can sometimes feel like another planet, and a spaceport that promises to take passengers into outer space.

Hot Springs, New Mexico changed its name to Truth or Consequences (or T or C as the residents call it) in 1950 to win a contest posed by a radio show of the same name. The host pledged to air the radio show in the first town that changed its name to Truth or Consequences. Although there have been referendums held since to change the name back to Hot Springs, none has yet passed.

Today, T or C is home to about 6,000 residents.

Much like other towns in New Mexico, T or C self identifies as an artistic community. In some senses, an affinity for art is not unlike an affinity for spaceflight. There are a lot of intellectual reasons to support either, but ultimately the drive to paint, write, or fly is not for survival, it is for living.

The spaceport is located about 30 miles outside of town. The State of New Mexico is building a visitor center in T or C.

Spaceport America was built in the high desert, surrounded by buffalo ranches owned by Ted Turner. It's located on the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro Trail, a historic trade route between Mexico City and San Juan Pueblo, New Mexico. The El Camino Real became an official Spanish conquistador route starting in the 1500s, but some say natives were using the trail hundreds of years before. As you approach the spaceport, it's easy to miss the main terminal. It was designed to blend in with its historic landscape and preserve the surrounding rancher community.

With little existing infrastructure previously in place, Spaceport America has had to not only create a small self-sustaining city from scratch, but also one capable of supporting vertical and horizontal space launch for paying customers. Although much progress has been achieved (there wasn't even a paved road here to start), there are still more buildings and fuel farms to be built. Staged progress in some cases has led to ghostly parking lots with no adjoining buildings.

When you look up at the spaceport, the sky is ironically free of aircraft of any kind. Its location was partly driven by it's proximity to White Sands Missile Test Range. The range is just behind the mountains in view of the spaceport. This blocks any airplanes from entering its airspace - to the advantage of the spaceport.

The main runway is Spaceway 16-34. It has the same markings as any standard airport runway, but this 10,000 foot strip will be where carrier aircraft to take off and release space vehicles for launch in mid-air.

The Spaceport Operations Center (affectionately called the "sock") will serve as the nerve center. The upper floor of the facility will house the mission control center. The FAA, not NASA, will regulate and license commercial space operations at Spaceport America.

Horizontal launch will be the main attraction at the beginning of operations when the suborbital passenger service Virgin Galactic begins operation, but small suborbital atmospheric research launches are already taking place now. SpaceX plans to bring reusable rocket booster testing to the spaceport in 2014. The facility's vertical launch range is about four miles southwest of the main terminal.

Virgin Galactic is the anchor tenant of Spaceport America, and has exclusive use of the main terminal, now named the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space. The terminal will house Virgin's WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft, and SpaceShipTwo when operational flights begin. It is here that customers will suit up and prepare for their flight to space.

As spaceport passengers file into the main terminal for their flight, hidden doors cinematically hiss open to welcome them. It's here passengers can look over their shoulders one last time and gaze back through the corridor to the desert.

  SP^ CEPORT  . (2014)  Spaceport America is the world's first purposefully built commercial spaceport. It was constructed by the State of New Mexico for exclusive use by private sector companies, and not government space agencies. This series is a look at a 21st century spaceport and it's closest neighboring town, Truth or Consequences. Taken together, the two places offer a fascinating dichotomy between a western American town that can sometimes feel like another planet, and a spaceport that promises to take passengers into outer space.
 Hot Springs, New Mexico changed its name to Truth or Consequences (or T or C as the residents call it) in 1950 to win a contest posed by a radio show of the same name. The host pledged to air the radio show in the first town that changed its name to Truth or Consequences. Although there have been referendums held since to change the name back to Hot Springs, none has yet passed.
 Today, T or C is home to about 6,000 residents.
download (3).jpg
  Much like other towns in New Mexico, T or C self identifies as an artistic community. In some senses, an affinity for art is not unlike an affinity for spaceflight. There are a lot of intellectual reasons to support either, but ultimately the drive to paint, write, or fly is not for survival, it is for living.
download (5).jpg
 The spaceport is located about 30 miles outside of town. The State of New Mexico is building a visitor center in T or C.
 Spaceport America was built in the high desert, surrounded by buffalo ranches owned by Ted Turner. It's located on the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro Trail, a historic trade route between Mexico City and San Juan Pueblo, New Mexico. The El Camino Real became an official Spanish conquistador route starting in the 1500s, but some say natives were using the trail hundreds of years before. As you approach the spaceport, it's easy to miss the main terminal. It was designed to blend in with its historic landscape and preserve the surrounding rancher community.
 With little existing infrastructure previously in place, Spaceport America has had to not only create a small self-sustaining city from scratch, but also one capable of supporting vertical and horizontal space launch for paying customers. Although much progress has been achieved (there wasn't even a paved road here to start), there are still more buildings and fuel farms to be built. Staged progress in some cases has led to ghostly parking lots with no adjoining buildings.
 When you look up at the spaceport, the sky is ironically free of aircraft of any kind. Its location was partly driven by it's proximity to White Sands Missile Test Range. The range is just behind the mountains in view of the spaceport. This blocks any airplanes from entering its airspace - to the advantage of the spaceport.
 The main runway is Spaceway 16-34. It has the same markings as any standard airport runway, but this 10,000 foot strip will be where carrier aircraft to take off and release space vehicles for launch in mid-air.
 The Spaceport Operations Center (affectionately called the "sock") will serve as the nerve center. The upper floor of the facility will house the mission control center. The FAA, not NASA, will regulate and license commercial space operations at Spaceport America.
 Horizontal launch will be the main attraction at the beginning of operations when the suborbital passenger service Virgin Galactic begins operation, but small suborbital atmospheric research launches are already taking place now. SpaceX plans to bring reusable rocket booster testing to the spaceport in 2014. The facility's vertical launch range is about four miles southwest of the main terminal.
 Virgin Galactic is the anchor tenant of Spaceport America, and has exclusive use of the main terminal, now named the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space. The terminal will house Virgin's WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft, and SpaceShipTwo when operational flights begin. It is here that customers will suit up and prepare for their flight to space.
 As spaceport passengers file into the main terminal for their flight, hidden doors cinematically hiss open to welcome them. It's here passengers can look over their shoulders one last time and gaze back through the corridor to the desert.