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Spaceport America Unveiled, Prepping for Launches Next Year

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Photo: Spaceport America

Designed by starchitect Norman Foster, the Virgin Spaceport is slated to become operational in 2013, when the first commercial spaceflights are supposed to begin. Spaceport America, located in the deserts of southern New Mexico, is the world's first "purpose-built spaceport" and home to Virgin Galactic, the Richard Branson-funded venture behind all this potential space tourism. Foster's design, which slopes up from a desert berm, will serve as both a hangar and terminal. The relatively simple design belies the complex engineering and huge cost of the project, which is estimated at $209M.
· Spaceport America [official site via Business Insider]