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March 28 – April 3, 2016 / Vol 35, No 13 / Hawai`i Island, USA

25 Mar 2016, 20:17 UTC
March 28 – April 3, 2016 / Vol 35, No 13 / Hawai`i Island, USA
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Spaceport America Hosts Public Open House Day

The second Spaceport America Open House Day occurs April 2 at the 7,280-hectare (18,000-acre) facility with 3,700-meter ‘spaceway’ in a New Mexico desert basin. Organizers expect to welcome at least 1,600 participants in 2 sessions that include demonstrations at the horizontal launch area, hands-on fun and educational activities. A fly-in is planned by Aviators from New Mexico Chapters of Experimental Aircraft Association and New Mexico Pilots Association. Anchor tenant Virgin Galactic, lead by Chairman Sir Richard Branson and CEO George Whitesides, is building back up to test flights after the SpaceShipTwo / VSS Enterprise catastrophe in 2014. Virgin Galactic has not yet been able to offer long-promised operational flights, 10 years on from the State legislature enacting the law providing for the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport and 6 years on from the grand opening. This has caused revenue to fall well below official projections for the ~US$220M publicly funded development, although SpaceX Falcon 9R testing, development programs for UP Aerospace and Armadillo Aerospace rockets, and a number of other companies’ activities have tallied up 20+ suborbital test flights from the location. Interest and investment in space technologies and space access continue to ...

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