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  • Spaceport!
    Posted by Frank Morring, Jr. 2:30 PM on Sep 27, 2010

    While the experts at Scaled Composites move through the flight test regime with SpaceShipTwo and its WhiteKnight carrier aircraft, the ground facilities of Spaceport America are taking shape.

    Virgin Galactic counts more than 340 paying passengers for rides to the edge of space. Recently William Faulkner, a professional photographer based in Las Cruces, N.M., visited the spaceport construction site and produced this photo report on its progress.

    Here is a view from the south of  the spaceport's 110,000-square-foot Terminal Hangar Facility, a multipurpose building where the space tourists will train and Virgin will keep two WhiteKnights and as many as five SpaceShipTwos.

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    This shot shows the 47,000-square-foot hangar portion of the facility.

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    This is the portion of the multi-use facility that will house the primary mission control center for SpaceShipTwo flights, and flights of other vehicles  as well. The spaceport already has an agreement with Armadillo Aerospace to launch three NASA-funded flights of its vertical takeoff/vertical landing testbed this winter.

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    This is the distinctive western entrance to the facililty.

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    From the  north, the spaceport's domed Air, Rescue, Fire Facility is visible in the foreground.

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    The 10,000-foot runway where SpaceShipTwo will glide back to Earth is already complete.

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    Here's another look at the Air, Rescue, Fire Facility, known as the ARFF.

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    Inside the ARFF will be a backup mission control center.

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    This concept art from Virgin Galactic shows what Spaceport American will look like when construction is finished.

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    Tags: os99, Spaceport America, VirginGalactic, SpaceShipTwo

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