Spaceport America Congratulates Virgin Galactic on Launch Permit, New Office

The Terminal Hangar Facility at Spaceport America will house Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo. (Credit: David Wilson, Spaceport America)

LAS CRUCES, NM (NMSA PR) — Spaceport America congratulates Virgin Galactic on their receipt of an experimental launch permit from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for powered flight of the SpaceShipTwo spacecraft and their opening of a new office in Las Cruces.

Christine Anderson, Executive Director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA), said, “This is another major milestone for Virgin Galactic as they progress toward powered flight testing of their spaceflight system.”

NMSA is in the final stages of the completion of the 110,000 sq. ft. “Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space” terminal hangar building located at Spaceport America. Virgin Galactic is set to begin their final fit-out work in the facility this year before their commencement of commercial operations.

More information on Virgin Galactic powered flight permitting can be found at:

Spaceport America also congratulates Virgin Galactic on their new office in Las Cruces, NM.

“We welcome the expansion of Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline operation, in Las Cruces and Southern New Mexico, delivering on the promise of economic development for New Mexico.” said Rick Holdridge, Chairman of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority. He continued, “This is a perfect example of a public-private partnership that the State of New Mexico and Governor Martinez’s administration have worked hard to grow.”

Virgin Galactic will be Spaceport America’s anchor tenant. Phase One construction at the spaceport is coming to a close with 99% of the work completed which includes the “Virgin Gateway to Space” terminal and hangar facility, the runway, Spaceport Operation Center, internal roads, fencing, water, sewer and electrical systems. As final construction is completed, Virgin Galactic will begin the fit-out process of their 110,000 sq. ft. Gateway facility before moving into the building later this year.

“It’s great to have Virgin Galactic and their New Mexico team now officially residents of New Mexico. We look forward to the growth in their team as they take the world’s first spaceline operational,” said Holdridge.