New Mexico Space Authority Announces Visitor’s Center

Even if you don't have the cash to get launched to outer space, the New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA), which is in the process of developing Spaceport America, is hoping to make you a space tourist. The organization has released plans for what it calls the Spaceport America Visitor Experience, with two separate centers located in Truth or Consequences and the Village of Hatch in New Mexico, near the location of Spaceport America in Sierra County.

Visiting these centers could become a grandiose experience since NMSA hired TEAM IDEAS to develop the project. TEAM IDEAS has been involved in the development of major centers such as Disneyland, Universal Studios and the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. The center will focus on education and you will be able to explore the history, adventure, potential and inspiration of the first purpose-built commercial spaceport.

The centers promise to include enough experiences to warrant a multi-day visit. You’ll be able to get intimately involved with space technology and touch artifacts from recent launches. The futuristic center will include simulations and a theater as well as shuttles – mobile theaters that take you on a guided tour through the entire spaceport.

You will also be able to prepare for your visit. “There will be a robust virtual environment offering games, mobile apps and content so that especially our younger guests will already feel a part of the new space age by the time they come for a visit,” said Kelly Pounds, IDEAS Vice President of Learning.

The initial phase of the Spaceport America Visitor Experience is expected to open around the same time as the first launch of Virgin Galactic's commercial space operations, scheduled as early as 2013. This appears to be an optimistic schedule, but with space operations the sky is no longer the limit.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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