NASA books 1st flight from New Mexico spaceport

October 14, 2011

(AP) -- NASA has booked a charter suborbital flight from Virgin Galactic's spaceport operations in southern New Mexico.

Virgin Galactic announced Thursday that the agreement calls for to charter a full flight from the company, and it includes options for two additional flights. If all options are exercised, the contract is worth $4.5 million.

Virgin Galactic says each mission allows for up to 1,300 pounds of .

Earlier this week, Virgin Galactic announced it hired former NASA executive Michael Moses as vice president of operations.

Virgin Galactic is owned by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Aabar Investments PJS. It's on track to be the world's first commercial spaceline and hopes to launch its first flight within the next year from Spaceport America, about 50 miles north of Las Cruces.

Explore further: New Mexico to be site of spaceport

0 shares

Related Stories

New Mexico to be site of spaceport

December 13, 2005

Officials from the London-based Virgin Galactic and New Mexico say they've signed an agreement to build a $200 million spaceport.

Space tourism craft reaches glide-test milestone (Update)

May 4, 2011

High over the Mojave Desert, the stubby-winged SpaceShipTwo bent itself into a near-right angle shape and plunged nearly straight downward for more than a minute before unfolding and gliding to a runway landing before an ...

Space tourism port to be sited in Abu Dhabi

July 28, 2009

Tourists will be able to journey to outer space via Abu Dhabi as part of a deal by a local investment group to take a stake in the world's first commercial space travel operator, the two companies said on Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Dwarf galaxies shed light on dark matter

January 23, 2017

The first sighting of clustered dwarf galaxies bolsters a leading theory about how big galaxies such as our Milky Way are formed, and how dark matter binds them, researchers said Monday.

One of the brightest distant galaxies known discovered

January 23, 2017

An international team led by researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of La Laguna (ULL) has discovered one of the brightest "non-active" galaxies in the early universe. Finding ...

Freeze-dried food and 1 bathroom: 6 simulate Mars in dome

January 20, 2017

Crammed into a dome with one bathroom, six scientists will spend eight months munching on mostly freeze-dried foods—with a rare treat of Spam—and have only their small sleeping quarters to retreat to for solace.

Image: Wavemaker moon Daphnis

January 20, 2017

The wavemaker moon, Daphnis, is featured in this view, taken as NASA's Cassini spacecraft made one of its ring-grazing passes over the outer edges of Saturn's rings on Jan. 16, 2017. This is the closest view of the small ...

Video: A colorful 'landing' on Pluto

January 20, 2017

What would it be like to actually land on Pluto? This movie was made from more than 100 images taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft over six weeks of approach and close flyby in the summer of 2015. The video offers a trip ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

rwinners
not rated yet Oct 15, 2011
Why does it sound like the US is subsidizing Branson's urges for immortality?
NotAsleep
not rated yet Oct 17, 2011
Because you must be a conspiracy theorist

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.