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Virgin Galactic to establish operations in New Mexico
Posted: Wed, Dec 14, 2005, 8:15 AM ET (1315 GMT)
Virgin Galactic spaceport illustration Suborbital space tourism operator Virgin Galactic announced plans Tuesday to conduct flights from a new spaceport in New Mexico. The agreement between Virgin and New Mexico, announced Tuesday in London, will have Virgin move its headquarters to the state and perform flights from a facility to be built in the southern part of the state, north of the city of Las Cruces. The state will spend $225 million to construct the facility, and Virgin will sign a 20-year lease for use of the spaceport, with rent payments starting at $1 million a year. The state has been aggressively trying to attract space tourism and other space businesses to locate in the state, which is already home to the North American operations of another British company, Starchaser, as well as the X Prize Cup. More details about the agreement are expected Wednesday at a press conference in New Mexico.
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