Virgin Galactic closer to space flight

Las Cruces Sun-News - The iris in Virgin Galactic's logo is that of Sir Richard Branson's — you know, the billionaire owner — very own eye. Did you know that the business cards of other executives also includes their own irises. Well, whether you consider that creepy, innovative, or both, the undeniable fact is that the company has its eye, figuratively, on southern New Mexico. Seven and a half years ago, Branson stopped by a spot in the desert about 40 miles north of Las Cruces and celebrated with school children the spot where Spaceport America would be built. Last week, CEO and President George Whitesides was in town as the company held an open house event for its Las Cruces office. Such an event flies in the face of some of the comments we've all heard in the past 7 1/2 years:
• "The spaceport will never happen. We'll drive by up there and see a concrete pad with brush grown up around it."
• "New Mexicans will never support an expensive project for rich people."
• "The economy will kill the project."
Whitesides said he's heard the comments too. Still the company plans to launch suborbital space flights at the $200 million Spaceport America, which is nearly complete. Whitesides said he's looking forward to the start of space flights as a company exec and as a customer. In fact, the company executive said Virgin hopes to begin flights in the second half of 2013. Read More News New Mexico



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