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October 20, 2011

Virgin Galactic dedicates world’s first commercial space terminal in US

Virgin Galactic has completed a dedication ceremony for the world's first commercial spaceport in New Mexico, US.

Virgin Galactic has completed a dedication ceremony for the world’s first commercial spaceport in New Mexico, US.

The Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space is a combined terminal and hangar facility that will support up to two WhiteKnightTwo and five SpaceShipTwo vehicles.

The 120,000ft² building has been designed by Foster + Partners in collaboration with URS Corporation and New Mexico architect SMPC.

The building will also house all astronaut preparation and celebration facilities, a mission control centre, and a friends and family area.

The entrance to the building will be through a deep channel cut into the landscape and its retaining walls form an exhibition space that documents a history of space exploration alongside the story of the region.

The building has been built as a low-lying form dug into the landscape to exploit the thermal mass, which protects the building from the extremes of the New Mexico desert climate.

The spaceport has features to exploit westerly winds for ventilation and is designed to make maximum use of daylight via skylights.

The building has been designed to achieve LEED Gold accreditation.

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