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Spaceport America in summer 2011

Since I am interested in everything that has to do with spaceflight, and I was touring the southwest of the United States in 2011 anyway, a visit on the Spaceport America then being under construction couldn't be missed out.

On the spaceport there are already launch possibilities for vertical-launch rockets (which sadly could not be visited), and also test pads for vertical launch and landing vehicles like e.g. from Armadillo Aerospace. These are separate from the Virgin Galactic facilities and are used for activities like test flights for the Lunar Lander contest

Desert landscape in the south of New Mexico

Entrance to the Spaceport grounds, in the background are the hangar facility (right) and Mission Control (left)

Pad for landing tests on crater sites

One of the crater test pads close-up

Vehicle of Follow The Sun Tours, the company offering the visits

Up Aerospace has also a place of business here

During the planning phase of the spaceport environmental and energy-conserving issues were already considered, also it was accounted for the buildings to fit into the landscape harmonically despite their futuristic design.

Hangar facility, still under construction - later it is supposed to be completely ground-covered and overgrown

Close-up of Mission Control

Hangar for carrier aircraft and spaceships...

Close-up of the hangar facility

...with bridge for future space travellers

View to runway and San Andres Mountains with wave clouds (Lenticularis) in the sky

Spaceport 2015

The Spaceport America website

Follow The Sun Tours, official tour provider

Elephant Butte Lake near Elephant Butte, the start point of the tour

Proof of evidence that I was there;-)

Pads for normal launch and landing tests

The San Andres Mountains, behind them is the White Sands Missile Range

The quarry where the construction material comes from

Panoramic view of the spaceport

The Mission Control building

The roof is covered with ceramic tiles

Front side panorama windows

Mirroring of the runway in the frontside windows

The hangar facility viewed from the runway

Elephant Butte Lake with very low water level

The dam of Elephant Butte Lake (constructed 1916) and the Rio Grande