Richard Branson Opens Spaceport

Billionaire Richard Branson unveiled his spaceport at an event in Las Cruces, N.M. on Monday. Named Spaceport America, the terminal and hangar facility will be the new headquarters of Branson’s space-tourism company, Virgin Galactic. The $209 million spaceport will feature preparation facilities, a mission-control center, and an area for family members to observe flights. Branson said, “Today is another history-making day for Virgin Galactic. We are here with a group of incredible people who are helping us lead the way in creating one of the most important new industrial sectors of the 21st century.” The venture’s first flight, carrying Branson and his children, could launch as early as 2012.