New Mexico

Virgin Galactic announces it's moving headquarters to Spaceport America

SANTA FE, New Mexico - Virgin Galactic announced Friday it is moving its headquarters from Mojave, California to Spaceport America in Truth or Consequences.

The annoucement was made by Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Galactic, along with New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham

The move, involving more than 100 members, will begin immediately and continue through the summer, a news release states.

Virgin Galactic partnered up with New Mexico to build Spaceport America, which is the world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport.   The Spaceport is located in Southern New Mexico in between Las Cruces and Truth or Consequences. 

Virgin Galactic committed to center its commercial spaceflight activities once its vehicles and operations were ready for service.

“Our Virgin Galactic adventure has been intertwined with New Mexico and Spaceport America right from the start and our stories have unfolded together. New Mexico delivered on its promise to build a world-first and world-class spaceport," Branson said. "Today, I could not be more excited to announce, that in return, we are now ready to bring New Mexico a world-first, world-class spaceline."

According to the news release, this announcement signals the final countdown to a regular commercial spaceflight for paying passengers from Spaceport America. In February, a new version of Virgin Galactic's winged craft SpaceShipTwo soared at three times the speed of sound to an altitude of nearly 56 miles in a test flight over Southern California.

New Mexico has been anticipating the arrival of space tourism for more than a decade. Taxpayers invested more than $200 million in Spaceport America's specialized launch and landing facilities. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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