The 11,000-pound, 40-foot-long by 5-foot-deep steel sculpture titled “GENESIS” arcs up to the sky as it welcomes guests at the entrance of Spaceport America. Its name speaks of new beginnings. Spaceport America, after all, is the first purpose-built, commercial spaceport ushering in the second space age. Sculptor Otto Rigan said the glass pieces, raised about a half inch from the metal, are in a pattern that copies the stars seen over the spaceport in the summer sky. “The sculpture is of the earth, and of the sky. In it, they have come together.”
After a journey along the historic El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail, the scenic main access road, Spaceport America Boulevard, invites the first-time visitor to admire (and photograph) the carefully-considered western perspective of Spaceport America and its ability to blend into the natural desert setting.
Stop for a moment to contemplate what lies ahead for humankind and then walk where future astronauts will walk as they begin their journey into sub-orbital space. The Astronaut Walkway is wired with programmable LED lighting making a dramatic dusk, dawn or midnight scene, party, ascent or decent along the walkway possible.
This futuristic 4,000 square foot space takes the visitor on a journey from 10,000 BCE to present day featuring the pre-historic communities who once lived here to the dawn of the second space age. The gallery’s “space window” enables visitors to view inside the Gateway to Space terminal hangar facility, home to Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo fleet.
In the middle of the gallery situated among space related kiosks and interactive video installations, is the G-shock trainer. Some guests will choose to experience the G-Shock trainer that subjects the would-be astronaut to multi-axis acceleration, providing sensory and spatial experience training comparable to what an actual astronaut might feel during flight preparations. Other guests may prefer to just observe. The gallery opens onto the Astronaut Walkway, making it ideal for all types of gatherings both celebratory and educational. Guests can enjoy the gallery and then move outside under the stars along the illuminated walkway.
Go behind the scenes at launch control. A dome unlike any you have ever seen, the Spaceport Operations Center (SOC) is home to the real-life Spaceport America mission control and space operations services. With one side a high-tech emergency response hub and the other a communications nerve center, the 20,000 square foot SOC comes ready to meet diverse event venue needs, including two videoconferencing-equipped meeting rooms, medical/trauma treatment room, day room lounge, basic kitchen, locker rooms, laundry and shower facilities, as well as a large, secure 4,336 square foot high-bay area for valuable asset storage or event staging.
Our 12,000 foot long, 200 foot wide all-concrete “Spaceway” will not only welcome newly-minted astronauts – but perhaps your guests as well. This private airfield is built to withstand the typical wheel loading of any aircraft operating in the world today. It can just as easily handle flight line motor coach driving tours and racecar speed trials. With two half-million square foot pullouts and enough surface area hold more than 33 gridiron football fields end-to-end, Spaceway 16-34 is highly versatile and lends itself to a diverse range of aviation and vehicle applications.
Someday soon spaceports will be where we set off on point-to-point sub-orbital travel, similar to the way we use airports today. As a working spaceport, we must accommodate our commercial space customers and their commercial space missions along with our visitors and guests who arrive by airplane or helicopter.
Access to fly within the surrounding, permanently restricted airspace at Spaceport America is coordinated exclusively through the Spaceport America Aerospace Operations team. Alongside our FAA license as a commercial spaceport, Spaceport America is a Prior Permission Required airport. Our team assists our aviation customers with pre-flight planning and coordination for all arrivals and departures at Spaceport America.
One of our most popular assets is the approximately ten acres of circular concrete rampspace, or apron, surrounding the Gateway to Space terminal hangar facility. From sunrise to sunset and well into the dark star-studded nights, the Gateway to Space Apron provides a spectacular venue for large-scale events. The massive eastern glass-façade curtain-wall of the gateway building provides a reflective and iconic architectural backdrop for a one-of-a-kind event, film or commercial photo shoot.
Developed by the international design team of URS Corp. and Foster + Partners, the award-winning Gateway to Space terminal hangar facility is the iconic home of Virgin Galactic’s global operations and fleet of motherships and spaceships. Precision-engineered to exacting LEED Gold environmental requirements, the sinuous shape of the building in the landscape captures the drama and mystery of space flight itself, articulating the thrill of space travel for the first commercial space tourists. Areas within this 110,000 square foot facility can be rented for events, mission-permitting, by agreement with Virgin Galactic.
This active rocket launch and testing campus located approximately 5 miles southeast of the horizontal launch area is where, to-date, 24 vertical launches have taken place. Numerous launch pads lie below “Priser Hill” - a natural outcrop providing a spectacular bird’s-eye view of the launch sites below.
Spaceport America encompasses 18,000 acres of remote and scenic high desert landscape. In association with our partners at Ted Turner Expeditions, guests accompanied by specialist guides can explore the natural elements of the surrounding area - habitat to Bison, Pronghorn, Desert Mule Deer, Mountain Lion, Javelin and Oryx, among other species. If a horseback ride across Spaceport America’s scenic campus sounds appealing, our regional partners provide both a horse and a wealth of knowledge about the natural environment within the historic Jornada valley.
The Spaceport America SAFE team is comprised of Protective Services, Emergency Medical and Firefighting units. On-site 24 hours per day, seven days per week, with decades of governmental and large event experience, our expert and friendly SAFE team deliver the safety and privacy levels our customers value without intrusion. VIP security can be arranged and security levels can be scaled up as required. Our state-of-the-art fire protection fleet, emergency vehicle unit and SAFE team are there to ensure each event runs as smoothly as possible.
Some of our guests prefer to fly inbound in the morning and fly out that same night depending on the scale and purpose of the event. Other guests, come prepared to spend the night as they arrive with their own motorhome. Alternatively, our regional partners can provide a full range of accommodation offerings from “glamping” to mobile housing and mobile restaurants. Within a 50 minute drive along the valley in both directions are two cities - Las Cruces and Truth or Consequences – each offering a range of hotel accommodation.
The warm, benign and stable climate of southern New Mexico is ideal for the commercial space business. It also helps when you need to plan and stage a large-scale event or commercial video/photo shoot. The quality of the light in southern New Mexico is also world-renowned by both fine artists and photographers. Visitors from around the world escape to southern New Mexico to bask in its abundant year round sunshine.