[ISDC2006] Virgin Galactic Announcement

Josh Neubert neubjr at gmail.com
Fri Dec 16 14:34:17 EST 2005

I haven't really been active in planning anything for the ISDC so far but
figured I should mention here that I work for the X PRIZE Foundation as the
outreach coordinator in New Mexico and have had a lot of contact with the
newly developed spaceport authority. It should be easy enough to have a
representative for NM's spaceport authority speak, and I think it would also
be good to invite secretary Homans (secretary of Economic Development for
NM), or Governor Richardson who have both been championing the
spaceport from the state's side. If there is a spaceport panel, I think
these would be good speakers to include.


On 12/16/05, Spaceman Sam <sam.coniglio at gmail.com> wrote:
> At the X PRIZE Cup event, Alex Tai said that Virgin is looking forother
> folks to be involved.  In fact he mentioned virgin is alsolooking for other
> vehicle suppliers.  Scaled just happens to have theonly flying vehicle.
> Sam
> On 12/16/05, Michael Mealling <mmealling at masten-space.com> wrote:> I was
> thinking of a spaceports panel as part of the business track (if it isn't
> covered elsewhere). For those of us in the business we're interested in what
> this does to accelerate the NM port and wheather Virgin got any exlusivity
> out of this.  Is anyone else working on getting the port reps to come?>>
> -MM>> -----Original Message-----> From: Spaceman Sam <
> sam.coniglio at gmail.com>> Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 09:21:51> To:Pat Montoure
> <montoure.pat at ssd.loral.com>> Cc:isdc2006 at nss.org> Subject: Re: [ISDC2006]
> Virgin Galactic Announcement>> We should be able to get Alex Tai to
> participate in the space tourismsession.  John and I keep running into him
> at conferences.> Sam> On 12/16/05, Pat Montoure <
> montoure.pat at ssd.loral.com> wrote:> Can we get a presentation at the ISDC
> on this?>> Pat>> Spaceman Sam wrote:>> >FYI folks!> >More evidence that
> Space Tourism will be the "killer app" for space travel.> >Sam> >"Virgin
> Unv!
> eils Space Plans for New Mexico- Will begin flights in California, then
> shift to $225 millionspaceport by 2010"
> MSNBChttp://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10451149/from/RSS/> >: Virgin Galactic on
> Tuesday began lifting the veil on its vision to: send tourists on flights
> from the desert to the black sky of space: — starting out from California's
> Mojave Desert as early as 2008,: then shifting its base of operations to a
> $225 million spaceport: near New Mexico's White Sands Missile Range by
> 2010.> >: During a London news conference, Virgin officials said the
> company: would lease facilities at New Mexico's Southwest Regional
> Spaceport: for a 20-year term, with annual payments of $1 million for the:
> first five years. After that time, the payments would be "scaled to: the
> success" of the operation, Virgin Galactic spokeswoman Jackie: McQuillan
> told MSNBC.com.> >: "Without doubt there will be other space tourist
> businesses using: the New Mexico spaceport," McQuillan said. Several other
> space!
> : companies — including another British-based rocket firm, Starchaser:
> Industries — already have announced plans to launch from the future:
> spaceport at Upham, N.M., 45 miles (72 kilometers) north of Las: Cruces.>
> >: Work has not yet begun on the 27-square-mile site, but New Mexico:
> officials have laid out the timeline for the obtaining of a federal:
> spaceport license during 2006, the start of construction in 2007: and
> completion in late 2009 or early 2010.> >: New Mexico's financing plan, as
> well as various designs for the: spaceport, are to be revealed at a Santa Fe
> news briefing on: Wednesday, with New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Virgin
> Group: chairman Richard Branson in attendance.> >: Virgin says more than
> 38,000 people from 126 countries already have: registered their interest in
> buying a ticket, and up to 100: "Founders" have committed to paying the full
> $200,000 fare upfront: for the first available seats.> >: In a company
> statement, Virgin Galactic President Will Whitehorn: said several factors
> made the New Mexico site "an ideal o!
> perations: base": steady climate, wide-open airspace, low population
> density,: high altitude and stunning scenery.> >: "Our team was highly
> impressed by the professionalism and the: competitive pitch the state and
> its advisers developed," Whitehorn: said. "We look forward to working
> together to make the 'Final: Frontier' a reality for tens of thousands of
> pioneering space: tourists."> >: The schedule calls for Virgin's commercial
> flights to begin in late: 2008 or early 2009 at the Mojave Airport, which
> has already won its: federal spaceport license and served as the base for
> SpaceShipOne's: flights.> >: Mojave Airport manager Stuart Witt told
> MSNBC.com that he applauded: Richardson's efforts in "achieving critical
> mass for the state of: New Mexico and making this a state agenda." But Witt
> also said: Mojave intended to stay in the competition for commercial space:
> dollars.> >: "Mojave's in this business," he said. "We're not leaving this:
> business."> >: He pointed out that M!
> ojave was the home base for Scaled Composites: as well as XCOR Aerospa
> ce, the only other company to win a federal: launch license for manned
> suborbital spaceflight.> >: "We must utilize the next three to five years
> and a 30- to: 50-flight test program to demonstrate the compatibility of:
> operating airports with suborbital space vehicles, at least the: ones that
> are licensed to fly at Mojave," he said.> >: Witt said there would be enough
> room in the space tourism market: for Mojave as well as New Mexico's site
> and others as well. Among: the other locales being contemplated for
> passenger spaceflights are: Oklahoma, Florida, Texas and Ontario.> >: During
> Tuesday's news conference, Virgin Galactic highlighted a: couple of its
> future customers, including British advertising guru: Trevor Beattie. The
> Associated Press quoted Beattie as saying he: wasn't concerned about the
> safety of the launch.> >: "My only concern is that the longer they leave the
> launch, the more: likely we all are to be hit by a bus," Beattie joked.> >:
> Virgin Galactic also unveil!
> ed a spaceport concept suggested by: French designer Philippe Starck,
> another paid-up passenger-to-be.: The concept, which called for most of the
> facilities to be built: underground, was highlighted by New Mexico Economic
> Development: Secretary Rick Homans. However, Virgin's McQuillan said the
> concept: was merely one of several possibilities.> >: In conjunction with
> GBH Design Ltd., Starck contributed a new: "visual identity" for Virgin
> Galactic as well: a logo incorporating: the iris and pupil of a human eye,
> with the corporate Virgin script: at the center. "When I look at the logo I
> am reminded of childlike: awe," Branson said in a written statement. "I
> believe it represents: all those who will watch and be a part of the growth
> of this: amazing new commercial aviation sector."> >: McQuillan said she
> expected that the New Mexico spaceport would be: designed to accommodate
> orbital trips as well as the suborbital: flights currently planned.> >:
> "Without doubt they are lookin!
> g at this as a long, long, long-term: facility that New Mexico will pr
> ovide," she told MSNBC.com. "Our: plan at Virgin Galactic is that we will
> start with suborbital, and: then move to orbital."> >------------------->
> >"New Mexico lays out its spaceport plan- State, federal and local funding
> would support $225 millionfaciility"
> MSNBChttp://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10467451/from/RSS/> >: New Mexico's plan
> to build a $225 million spaceport calls for the: state Legislature to
> contribute $100 million in new money over the: next three years — the
> "cornerstone" of an effort that could open: up outer space to thousands of
> paying customers over the next: decade, Gov. Bill Richardson said
> Wednesday.> >: The balance would come from state funding already approved,
> as well: as federal and local funds, said Rick Homans, New Mexico's
> economic: development secretary. New Mexico's political leaders said the:
> investment would bring a return in the form of thousands of new: jobs as
> well as heightened prestige.> >: "What we are calling the second space age
> will open !
> up a wide range: of commercial opportunities, including point-to-point
> cargo: delivery, with personal and business travel," Richardson said,:
> during a Santa Fe news briefing that provided New Mexico's: perspective on
> the ambitious spaceport plan.> >: The "anchor tenant" of the 27-square-mile
> facility is to be Virgin: Galactic, which intends to offer suborbital
> spaceflights starting: in late 2008 or early 2009.> >: Homans said Virgin
> Galactic would take out a 20-year lease on: facilities at the spaceport. The
> company would pay $1 million a: year for the first five years, then the
> payment and user fees would: rise with the aim of paying off the spaceport
> cost over the: remaining 15 years, Homans said.> >: Virgin Galactic
> spokeswoman Jackie McQuillan had a slightly: different view, telling
> MSNBC.com that payments after the first: five years would be "scaled to
> the success" of spaceflight: operations. Virgin Galactic's president, Will
> Whitehorn, said: Wednesday that the detaile!
> d terms of the lease still had to be: negotiated.> >: Branson took a m
> arathon flight from Australia to be in New Mexico: for Wednesday's
> briefing.> >: "Of all the projects that I've worked on in my life, of all
> the: businesses I've started, this is by far the most exciting," he: said.
> "This business will mark a milestone in world history, and it: will launch a
> new space industry — a private space industry, driven: by innovators and
> entrepreneurs and new technologies and bold: thinkers."> >: Many of the
> details surrounding the plan came out on Tuesday during: a Virgin Galactic
> briefing in London. However, Wednesday's briefing: in Santa Fe provided new
> information about the state's financing: plan.> >: As outlined by Richardson
> and Homans, the key piece of the puzzle: is the $100 million in capital
> outlays yet to be appropriated by: the state Legislature. During the
> briefing, House Speaker Ray Lujan: and Senate President Pro Tem Ben
> Altamirano voiced their support: for the spaceport. "We're excited to be
> part of the project,": Altamirano said. "!
> It's like a Christmas present to all of New: Mexico."> >: Homans said the
> project would take advantage of an additional: $35 million already set aside
> by the Legislature for upgrading: transportation and runways. He said New
> Mexico's congressional: delegation would seek federal backing as well,
> because the project: would benefit the nation as well as the state of New
> Mexico.> >: The spaceport could someday become the base for commercial
> flights: into orbit, with space hotels and private research facilities as:
> destinations, he said. "Development of this private industry in New: Mexico
> will allow NASA and other international government space: agencies to focus
> their efforts on exploring the further reaches of: space, including manned
> travel to Mars and beyond," Richardson said.> >: Homans said New Mexico's
> financing plan also depends on revenue: from a new gross-receipts tax that
> would have to be enacted by: local governments in southern New Mexico. The
> local tax could: gene!
> rate $10 million to $12 million a year, he said.> >: "That piece still
> has to be worked out, depending on what kind of: support comes from
> southern New Mexico. ... We've got more work to: do there," Homans said.> >:
> Virgin Galactic's Whitehorn said the current concept for the New: Mexico
> spaceport called for building most of the facilities: underground, to
> preserve the desert landscape as well as to save: water and energy. One
> artistic rendering showed electricity-: generating solar arrays built in the
> shape of Virgin Galactic's new: iris-shaped logo.> >: If geological problems
> ruled out going underground, "this same: design can be highly efficient
> above ground as well," Whitehorn: said.> >: Alex Tai, Virgin Galactic's
> director of operations, emphasized that: the concepts were still subject to
> change. "We have no concrete: ideas, we just know that we want to do
> something beautiful," he: told reporters.> >: Whitehorn said up to three
> flights a day would take off from the: New Mexico facility.> >: Virgin says
> more than 38,000 people from 126 cou!
> ntries already have: registered their interest in buying a ticket, and up
> to 100: "Founders" have committed to paying the full $200,000 fare upfront:
> for the first available seats. One of those Founders, actress: Victoria
> Principal, said during the Santa Fe briefing that her: flight would be "a
> dream come true."> >: "We're on the era of a new form of transportation and
> a way of life: that we've never known before," she said, "so I'm very proud
> and: very thrilled to be a part of this, and I hope to share my space:
> journey with you."> >: Whitehorn said his company passed over other
> potential spaceport: sites — including Mojave Airport — in part because of
> New Mexico's: favorable climate, open airspace and low population density.
> The: New Mexico site is projected to have weather suitable for launch on: up
> to 340 days out of the year, Whitehorn said. In contrast,: Mojave's winds
> and the airspace needs of nearby Edwards Air Force: Base might interfere
> with Virgin's operations, h!
> e said.> >: The fact that few people live around the New Mexico spacep
> ort site: means there will be less risk to the "uninvolved public" —
> which: should be reassuring to regulators as well as insurance providers,:
> Whitehorn said.--Samuel ConiglioPhotographer, Writer, Computer
> ConsultantCell: 310-699-5132Email: sam.coniglio at gmail.comWeb:
> www.samsphotography.net------------------------->
> >_______________________________________________> >ISDC2006 mailing list> >
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> --Samuel ConiglioPhotographer, Writer, Computer ConsultantCell:
> 310-699-5132Email: sam.coniglio at gmail.comWeb:
> www.samsphotogrraphy.net------------------------->
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> ISDC2006 at nss.org> http://www.nss.org/mailman/listinfo/isdc2006>> This was
> sent from my blackberry so please forgive the terse nature of the response.>
> --Samuel ConiglioPhotographer, Writer, Computer ConsultantCell:
> 310-699-5132Email: sam.coniglio at gmail.comWeb:
> www.samsphotography.net-------------------------
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