Since humans first stared up at the stars and wondered what they were, we’ve been obsessed with the idea of space travel. On October 4, 1957, Russia sent Sputnik 1 satellite into space. Then in 1961, they sent a man into space for a 108 minute flight in the planets orbit. Then in 1968, the US sent Apollo 8 into space and it became the first manned spacecraft to leave Earth’s orbit, orbit the moon, and return safely home. And then on July 21, 1969 during the Apollo 11 mission, Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to step foot on another celestial body—the moon.
Since that shining moment, we’ve been obsessed with space. And the latest obsession has been commercial space flights – lead by companies like SpaceX and Virgin Galactic. As a bit of background, SpaceX was founded in 2002 by former PayPal entrepreneur and Tesla Motors CEO, Elon Musk. Their goal is to create the technologies that will enable humanity to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of Mars.
As of September 2014, both SpaceX and Boeing have received contracts from NASA to complete building, testing, and flying up to six flights of human-rated space capsules to the International Space Station beginning in 2017. And on top of all that, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport has been built in New Mexico called Spaceport America. It’s a 670,000 square foot facility that has both SpaceX and Virgin Galactic as tenants.
There have been delays from SpaceX and Virgin Galactic that are delaying the progression of commercial space flight out of Spaceport America. But as you saw, it sounds like they’re up and running and waiting for flights. For more information, visit http://spaceportamerica.com/