Thursday, February 14, 2008

Spaceport America...

Congratulations to the thousands of readers who correctly identified the location of yesterday's image. For those of you who didn't get it, well, I'm guessing that you won't be traveling into space anytime soon. Yes, the photo shows the ground on which Spaceport America is currently being built near the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Looks pretty vacant now, but trust me, they'll be pumping lattes out to starry-eyed millionaires soon enough. Virgin Galactic expects to launch its first civilian-manned space flight from here in 2009 (at around $200K for six minutes of weightlessness). Other commercial space "adventure" agencies are soon to follow. The facility is being designed by the great Norman Foster who was brought in after a disastrous competition whose winning entry didn't look nearly Star Trek-y enough for the backers and die-hard fans of this project.

Why does the concept of space travel ignite so many nerdy infantile fantasies? Don't know, but the idea of a space city in the middle of nowhere sure seems like a wicked cool enterprise to me.

(Rendering of SPA by Foster + Partners , 2007)


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