September 10, 2007—Architects and officials last week unveiled the planned design for Spaceport America's 100,000-square-foot (9,300-square-meter) main terminal, pictured above.
The southern New Mexico facility will serve as home base for Virgin Galactic, a space-tourism company started by Virgin Atlantic Airways founder Richard Branson.
According to the designers, the facility will blend into its dusty surroundings to resemble a rise in the desert floor. Groundbreaking on the low-lying structure—a collaboration between the URS corporation and the Foster and Partners architecture firm, is scheduled for early 2008.
Funding in the amount of 198 million U.S. dollars has been in place since April, when residents of New Mexico's Dona Ana County approved a tax to finance the project. (Read "Spaceport Plan Divides New Mexico Voters" [April 3, 2007].)