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NATIONAL
April 24, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
Spaceport America officials cleared a major hurdle when residents of Sierra County approved a tax aimed at financing the $200-million project. With all precincts reporting, the tax passed by 980 votes among more than 3,110 cast, the county clerk's office said. Sierra County's vote was crucial because a tax district to fund construction of the commercial spaceport needed approval by at least two counties. In neighboring Dona Ana County, the tax passed last spring by 270 votes among more than 17,000 cast.
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BUSINESS
May 10, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan, This post has been corrected. See note below for details.
SpaceX, the Hawthorne rocket maker, has found a new home for flight testing on its reusable rocket. The company has signed a three-year agreement to lease land and facilities at Spaceport America, the state-owned commercial launch site located 55 miles north of Las Cruces, N.M. The announcement was made earlier this week by New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez. SpaceX, short for Space Exploration Technologies Corp., has been working to perfect its Grasshopper rocket technology.
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BUSINESS
May 10, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan, This post has been corrected. See note below for details.
SpaceX, the Hawthorne rocket maker, has found a new home for flight testing on its reusable rocket. The company has signed a three-year agreement to lease land and facilities at Spaceport America, the state-owned commercial launch site located 55 miles north of Las Cruces, N.M. The announcement was made earlier this week by New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez. SpaceX, short for Space Exploration Technologies Corp., has been working to perfect its Grasshopper rocket technology.
NEWS
May 2, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
Virgin Galactic has trained more than 140 "space agents" worldwide to sell tickets for the first commercial space flights that may begin as soon as early next year. "We have two clients signed up," Bell deSouza of Mansour Travel in Beverly Hills said Wednesday. The agency is one of eight in California authorized to sell the $200,000 ticket to ride. Monday's successful test flight of Virgin Galactic 's SpaceShipTwo in Mojave brought the idea of commercial space travel a bit closer to reality.
BUSINESS
March 20, 2012 | By Deborah Netburn
Ashton Kutcher, actor and Twitterer extraordinaire, is heading to space. According to a blog post by British billionaire Richard Branson, Kutcher is the 500th person to sign up for a Virgin Galactic flight that will take up to six passengers at a time on a sightseeing trip to suborbital space. The trip costs a cool $200,000, but can you really put a price on seeing the curvature of the Earth and enjoying a few moments of weightlessness? It is still unclear when Kutcher's flight will happen.
BUSINESS
October 18, 2011 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
Las Cruces, N.M., officially joined the list of the nation's major space centers Monday when a newly completed terminal and hangar facility was turned over to British billionaire Richard Branson and his commercial space tourism venture, Virgin Galactic. The company aims to launch paying customers beyond Earth's confines from the new $209-million futuristic-looking facility, named Spaceport America. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez joined Branson and a crowd of more than 800 others during the dedication ceremonies, the company said.
BUSINESS
October 12, 2010 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
Commercial space tourism got a boost when Virgin Galactic's rocket plane successfully completed its first manned test flight at the Mojave Air and Space Port. The aircraft, dubbed SpaceShipTwo, was dropped from a carrier plane at 45,000 feet and glided without power for more than 10 minutes before landing on the desert runway Sunday. The carrier plane, which resembles a flying catamaran because of its two fuselages, and the six-passenger rocket ship are in the midst of a test-flight program that will continue until Virgin Galactic, the space tourism company that owns the planes, believes it can begin commercial operations.
NEWS
May 2, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
Virgin Galactic has trained more than 140 "space agents" worldwide to sell tickets for the first commercial space flights that may begin as soon as early next year. "We have two clients signed up," Bell deSouza of Mansour Travel in Beverly Hills said Wednesday. The agency is one of eight in California authorized to sell the $200,000 ticket to ride. Monday's successful test flight of Virgin Galactic 's SpaceShipTwo in Mojave brought the idea of commercial space travel a bit closer to reality.
NATIONAL
January 24, 2013 | By John M. Glionna
So you're planning to blast off into outer space on a future commercial flight from New Mexico. What if things go south and you are injured or killed? Who do you or your survivors sue? New Mexico legislators have agreed to amend a state law that narrows who future space travelers can take to court if their venture goes ka-blooey. The new bill will protect spacecraft parts suppliers from damage lawsuits by passengers on space tourism flights launched from the state. In coming years, Virgin Galactic plans to fly tourists into space from Spaceport America near the community of Truth or Consequences, for $200,000 a ticket.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2013 | By Sharon Mizota
Over the past 40 years, photographer Connie Samaras has journeyed to some of the most extreme architectural sites in the world: a scientific outpost in Antarctica, the first private spaceport in the New Mexico desert, the artificial ski slopes and oases of Dubai, and ground zero in the first few days after 9/11.  Always clear-eyed and rigorously composed, her images document spaces where collective imaginings become reality. As such, they attest to the human will (or hubris) to remake the world in the image of our fantasies, whether they are daydreams or nightmares.
BUSINESS
April 29, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan and Adolfo Flores
British billionaire Richard Branson's commercial space venture Virgin Galactic got one step closer to carrying tourists into space when a test pilot cracked the sound barrier over the Mojave Desert. For the first time, the company's SpaceShipTwo engaged its rocket motor and sped to Mach 1.2 and reached 56,000 feet in altitude. The flight is the latest -- and largest -- milestone in Virgin Galactic's testing of technology it hopes to use to carry scores of paying customers into space several times a day. “The first powered flight of Virgin Spaceship Enterprise was without any doubt our single most important flight test to date,” said Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, in a statement.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2013 | By Sharon Mizota
Over the past 40 years, photographer Connie Samaras has journeyed to some of the most extreme architectural sites in the world: a scientific outpost in Antarctica, the first private spaceport in the New Mexico desert, the artificial ski slopes and oases of Dubai, and ground zero in the first few days after 9/11.  Always clear-eyed and rigorously composed, her images document spaces where collective imaginings become reality. As such, they attest to the human will (or hubris) to remake the world in the image of our fantasies, whether they are daydreams or nightmares.
NATIONAL
January 24, 2013 | By John M. Glionna
So you're planning to blast off into outer space on a future commercial flight from New Mexico. What if things go south and you are injured or killed? Who do you or your survivors sue? New Mexico legislators have agreed to amend a state law that narrows who future space travelers can take to court if their venture goes ka-blooey. The new bill will protect spacecraft parts suppliers from damage lawsuits by passengers on space tourism flights launched from the state. In coming years, Virgin Galactic plans to fly tourists into space from Spaceport America near the community of Truth or Consequences, for $200,000 a ticket.
BUSINESS
March 20, 2012 | By Deborah Netburn
Ashton Kutcher, actor and Twitterer extraordinaire, is heading to space. According to a blog post by British billionaire Richard Branson, Kutcher is the 500th person to sign up for a Virgin Galactic flight that will take up to six passengers at a time on a sightseeing trip to suborbital space. The trip costs a cool $200,000, but can you really put a price on seeing the curvature of the Earth and enjoying a few moments of weightlessness? It is still unclear when Kutcher's flight will happen.
BUSINESS
October 18, 2011 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
Las Cruces, N.M., officially joined the list of the nation's major space centers Monday when a newly completed terminal and hangar facility was turned over to British billionaire Richard Branson and his commercial space tourism venture, Virgin Galactic. The company aims to launch paying customers beyond Earth's confines from the new $209-million futuristic-looking facility, named Spaceport America. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez joined Branson and a crowd of more than 800 others during the dedication ceremonies, the company said.
BUSINESS
October 12, 2010 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
Commercial space tourism got a boost when Virgin Galactic's rocket plane successfully completed its first manned test flight at the Mojave Air and Space Port. The aircraft, dubbed SpaceShipTwo, was dropped from a carrier plane at 45,000 feet and glided without power for more than 10 minutes before landing on the desert runway Sunday. The carrier plane, which resembles a flying catamaran because of its two fuselages, and the six-passenger rocket ship are in the midst of a test-flight program that will continue until Virgin Galactic, the space tourism company that owns the planes, believes it can begin commercial operations.
NATIONAL
October 30, 2006 | Nicholas Riccardi, Times Staff Writer
After Bill McCamley got his master's degree from Harvard in 2003, he returned to this sleepy city in a forgotten corner of the third-poorest state in the country. It took him nine months to find a decent job -- selling commercial real estate. That is not unusual in this part of New Mexico, where young people flee to Colorado or Texas in search of gainful employment. But McCamley's experience left a lasting impression.
BUSINESS
April 29, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan and Adolfo Flores
British billionaire Richard Branson's commercial space venture Virgin Galactic got one step closer to carrying tourists into space when a test pilot cracked the sound barrier over the Mojave Desert. For the first time, the company's SpaceShipTwo engaged its rocket motor and sped to Mach 1.2 and reached 56,000 feet in altitude. The flight is the latest -- and largest -- milestone in Virgin Galactic's testing of technology it hopes to use to carry scores of paying customers into space several times a day. “The first powered flight of Virgin Spaceship Enterprise was without any doubt our single most important flight test to date,” said Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, in a statement.
NATIONAL
January 2, 2010 | By Nicholas Riccardi
When residents of this isolated place voted in 2008 to tax themselves to pay for an audacious redevelopment scheme -- construction of a commercial spaceport in the desert -- Kim Audette was an ardent supporter. She expressed her backing in a typically quirky Truth or Consequences manner -- sprinkling herself with "space dust" and playing pro-spaceport songs on her pink violin in a local park. That was then. Now Audette's performances include ditties denouncing local officials who support the project.
NATIONAL
April 24, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
Spaceport America officials cleared a major hurdle when residents of Sierra County approved a tax aimed at financing the $200-million project. With all precincts reporting, the tax passed by 980 votes among more than 3,110 cast, the county clerk's office said. Sierra County's vote was crucial because a tax district to fund construction of the commercial spaceport needed approval by at least two counties. In neighboring Dona Ana County, the tax passed last spring by 270 votes among more than 17,000 cast.
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