Spaceport America Revamps Website

Posted by on Jul 10, 2008 in Blog, Space Ports, Video | 0 comments

(Hat Tip: Space Transport News)

Despite the fact that other spaceports exist in the United States (such as Oklahoma, Virginia and of course, Florida), Spaceport America has captured the media’s attention, with thanks in part to Virgin Galactic’s ability to market itself to “the masses.”

Now it looks as if Spaceport America has taken some of Virgin Galactic’s “flare,” as they have revamped their website in order to make it more attractive.

(Video: A brief tour through what the upcoming Spaceport America will look like. Credit: Spaceport America)

The revamped Spaceport America site hosts many features, including a press release section (for the media) and a weblog (for the geeks).

The site also has a section highlighting organizations that will be using their facilities once the spaceport is built, which range from private corporations (such as UP Aerospace, Rocket Racing League, and Lockheed Martin) to the government (White Sands Missle Range), to even not-for-profit organizations (like the X-Prize Foundation, which recently launched a blog).

Creating a fancy website is a great way to attract (and keep) the attention of those curious about traveling “beyond the black,” especially children (who may end up building homes on other worlds).

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Nigeria Seeks Out The Final Frontier

Posted by on Oct 19, 2007 in Blog, Nigeria, Space Ports | 0 comments

Of all the nations with an excuse not to invest in the final frontier, Nigeria would be it. Infested with numerous problems ranging from disease to corruption, Nigeria has every excuse to refrain from embracing the cosmos above as apart of its inheritance.

But despite being a prime example of a third world nation, Africa’s largest country (population wise) is looking towards the heavens to solve its problems below.

( Boroffice thinks space technology is the key to addressing such woes relatively cheaply and efficiently. For example, NASRDA spent $13 million, less than 0.1 percent of the nation’s budget, in the 2003 launch of NigeriaSat-1, an advanced imaging satellite that punches its weight with 1990s satellites in the $300 million class. NigeriaSat-1 — the first satellite to provide close-up images of the after-effects of Hurricane Katrina — helped sow the seeds of technological development in a nation that needs engineers, infrastructure and IT. […]

“There are seminars and workshops to teach farmers how to read (NigeriaSat-1) maps and how to identify areas where they can plant rice, when to plant and when to harvest and also to provide a system for monitoring the health of the rice (crop),” Boroffice said.

Boroffice heads the National Space Research and Development Agency, or NASRDA which is Nigeria’s space agency. Although the nation has a long ways to go before catching up with their western (or eastern) friends, Nigeria is seeking the ability to operate and launch its own satellites within its own borders.

What makes Nigeria really interesting is its position near the equator, which would make it a prime location for launching space ships or satellites into geostationary orbit.

If Nigeria ever decided to lease its space to western nations, Nigeria could build up the funds to eventually launch one of their own beyond the sky and into the black.

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New Mexico's Spaceport Will Be Environmentally Friendly

Posted by on Sep 5, 2007 in Blog, New Mexico, Space Industry, Space Ports | 0 comments

(Image: An artist’s drawing of Spaceport America’s terminal building, with White Knight Two and SpaceShipTwo vehicles. Credit: Virgin Galactic / Foster + Partners)

While finding new ways to reach the heavens (and beyond) is important for the human race, taking care of our homeworld is a much higher priority. When it comes to space, the same principles apply, as it would be foolish for humanity to reach the stars by trashing our birth planet.

While spaceports seem to be sprouting all across the globe, it looks as if one is taking our planet to heart, by designing their spaceport to be environmentally friendly.

(MSNBC) The design chosen is a low-lying, striking bit of construction that uses natural earth as a berm, and relies on passive energy for heating and cooling, with photovoltaic panels for electricity and water recycling capabilities. A rolling concrete shell acts as a roof with massive windows opening to a view of the runway and spacecraft. […]

The founder of Foster + Partners, Lord Norman Foster, said in an earlier press comment that the world’s first space terminal would be a technically complex building. The facility not only will provide a dramatic experience for the astronauts and visitors, “but will set an ecologically sound model for future spaceport facilities,” he added.

Spaceport America, located 30 miles east of Truth and Consequences in New Mexico will hopefully set the standard for future spaceports not only in the US, but around the world as well.

Note: Wouldn’t it be great if spaceport designs led to more environmentally friendly buildings across our planet?

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New Mexico Voters Narrowly Approve Of Spaceport

Posted by on Apr 4, 2007 in Blog, New Mexico, Politics, Space Ports | 2 comments

After a fierce debate, with politicians vocally supporting or opposing the tax enabling the construction of Spaceport America by Virgin Galactic, it seems that New Mexico may secure its place solar history after all.

With 8,781 voters (or 50.6%) in favor of the tax enabling the spaceport to exist (with 8577 opposed), New Mexico will probably become a destination for not only space tourists in general, but perhaps the emerging space industry as well.

Final results can be viewed over here.

New Mexico’s actions will probably establish a precedent for future spaceports in America, and is perhaps a sign that a new space culture is emerging in our society.

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New Mexico Spaceport Executive Has Died

Posted by on Feb 15, 2007 in Blog, Eulogy, New Mexico, Space Industry, Space Ports | 0 comments

(Hat Tip: Space Fellowship)

One of the men who helped pioneer commercial spaceports in New Mexico (which probably influenced other states and countries to construct similar ones) has passed away recently.

(Spaceport America) Governor Bill Richardson released the following statement today on the death of Lonnie Sumpter, executive director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority:

“Lonnie was a true public servant and dedicated the last 15 years of his life to building a new space industry in New Mexico,” said Governor Bill Richardson. “As executive director of the NM Spaceport Authority he was a pioneer in his profession and a valued member of my Administration.”

Sumpter will definitely be greatly missed by space enthusiasts within his state, as his vision helped spark the private space industry and convinced not only individuals, but government officials of its worth.

My prayers and thoughts are with Sumpter’s family, friends and coworkers.

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Is The UAE Setting Up A Spaceport?

Posted by on Feb 15, 2007 in Blog, Space Industry, Space Ports, Space Race, United Arab Emirates | 0 comments

Their are rumors that the United Arab Emirates (aka the UAE) may be partnering with Virgin Galactic in order to establish spaceport on Arabian soil.

( Richard Branson, the British founder of Virgin and its myriad of business units, is a frequent visitor to the UAE and is rumoured to be in discussions to make it a hub for commercial space travel.

Bahrain is also being considered, according to a report in Arabian Business magazine.

The first location for Virgin Galactic will be the Mojave Spaceport in the Californian desert, but this is expected to be used primarily for space tourism.

According to the article, the UAE is already partnering with Space Adventures who is building the country a spaceport estimated to be worth $265 million. Why the UAE would need two spaceports is anybodies guess.

Either way, it is good to see another middle easter nation (after Israel) begin to take the final frontier seriously, (not to mention peacefully) and hopefully other countries in the region will begin to follow suit.

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