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Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space Unveiled

Photo: Photo: Virgin Galactic


Photo: Virgin Galactic


Virgin Galactic last week revealed the first look at the interior fit-out of its Gateway to Space building at Spaceport America in New Mexico.

The company showcased two floors of the building primarily focused on spaceflight operations, which also incorporates communal spaces designed for use in the future by Virgin Galactic customers, along with their friends and families.

Completion of this interior work means the spaceport facility is now “operationally functional and able to support Virgin Galactic’s flight requirements”, the company said.

The first floor of the building, named Gaia, is the point of departure and return for astronauts. The company said: “The colour palettes and the use of natural materials aims to bring the stunning landscape which surrounds Spaceport inside. The floor design, furniture and fittings promote social interaction and human discourse – a sense of togetherness and unity.

“The Earth-focused design will provide a fitting welcome to those newly-graduated astronauts returning from space with a new appreciation and understanding of our home planet.”

The second floor is named Cirrus, which according to the company represents “light, air and flight”

The company enthused: “It is the beating heart of spaceflight operations and is connected to the community hub of Gaia below through a double height atrium. The colour palette graduates from the earthy tones below in Gaia to lighter white and grey shades, reflecting the skies beyond and providing a clean environment supporting operational focus.”

This area is home to Mission Control, the Mission Briefing Room, the Pilot Corps and the rest of the Flight Operations team.

Mission Control has a dedicated space which allows focus on flight operations and the Flight Operations team and the pilots are positioned to give an unrestricted view of ground operation areas including the apron and runway.

Virgin Galactic’s space fleet will be housed in the Gateway to Space hangar which is already home to VMS Eve, the first Virgin Galactic carrier aircraft. The hangar is large enough to accommodate two carrier aircraft and five SpaceShipTwo vehicles.

Virgin Galactic added: “The unveiling of Gaia and Cirrus brings to life a beautiful, world-first and world-class facility and means that Spaceport America’s Gateway to Space is now functionally operational – ready to host the remaining portion of Virgin Galactic’s test flight program before welcoming its very first Future Astronauts.”

Source: Virgin Galactic

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