It looks like Virgin Galactic may have won the commercial race to space by unveiling the world’s first commercial human spaceflight terminal. Catchily titled ‘Spaceport America’, it’s found on 27 square miles of New Mexico desert, with a Foster + Partners-designed building.
Dubbed the ‘Gateway to Space’, Virgin Galactic’s spaceport serves as a vehicle hangar, mission control, and a hub for astronaut training and preparation, with Richard Branson’s space tourism company claiming to be only months away from launching commercial space travel.
The Spaceport is now operational and welcomed members of the media last week. Designed by Foster + Partners, like any aviation port worth its salt it also has a Gaia lounge where potential space travellers can relax on custom furniture and enjoy a drink before taking flight.
The second floor is named Cirrus (representing light, air and flight) and is where the operations take place. This area takes on a more sedated feel and is meant to compliment the story of space travel. While Gaia’s earthy tones are inspired by terra firma, Cirrus’ white and grey shades are meant to represent the clouds in the sky.
Naturally, the entire Gateway to Space facility is equipped with the latest tech and gadgets, making full use of the surrounding landscape. The facility is also highly energy efficient and promotes sustainability.
Virgin Galactic’s Spaceport America ‘Gateway to Space’ will be fully operational by the time Branson’s company launches in 2020. So far, more than 600 passengers from over 60 countries have put down the £205,800. Find out more over at the Virgin Galactic or Foster+Partners Websites.
You may know Foster+Partners following their much talked about 305-metre-high Tulip tower which was rejected by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. They also designed the 80,000-seater Lusail Stadium, which is set to host the World Cup Final in Qatar in 2022.