Headlines > News > Virgin Galactic and New Mexico Announce Spaceport Agreement

Virgin Galactic and New Mexico Announce Spaceport Agreement

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:45 pm
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Press release; At press conferences in London and New Mexico, officials from Virgin Galactic and from the State of New Mexico announced that they had reached an historic agreement which will see the building of a $200m spaceport in the southern part of the state on a 27 square mile area of state land.

Virgin Galactic has agreed to locate its world’s headquarters and Mission Control in New Mexico and strongly believes that the new spaceport will offer fledgling astronauts an experience that will be truly out of this world.

“When Burt Rutan and SpaceShipOne won the X PRIZE in October 2004, we knew the new space industry had arrived,” said Secretary Rick Homans. “And when Sir Richard Branson announced that Virgin would use that same technology to fly paying passengers into space, we realized that our most important job was to convince Virgin Galactic to come to New Mexico and launch the personal spaceflight industry. This announcement is a convergence of dreams and we are proud that Virgin will be New Mexico’s anchor tenant at the world’s most exciting space tourism location. ”

“New Mexico has worked hard to bring us to their exciting new spaceport facility,” stated Will Whitehorn, President of Virgin Galactic. “The State has several factors that make it an ideal operations base: climate, free 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 advisors developed. We look forward to working together to make the “Final Frontier” a reality for tens of thousands of pioneering space tourists. Our activities will prove the commercial viability and excellent safety technology behind private personal spaceflight and give birth to a new industry in New Mexico.”

A new vision, a new identity

Design guru, Philippe Starck has inspired an exciting new identity for Virgin Galactic to reflect the vision of the project. Using the amazing and beautiful image of an iris, he allows people to reflect on the basic human instinct to push boundaries and explore.

Philippe Starck explains: “The curiosity and adventure of the human spirit exists in the vision of a human eye, from today, through millions of years of evolution, right back to the beginning of mankind. The nebulous iris represents the infinite possibilities of this endeavour and signifies our opportunity to look back at earth from space with our own eyes for the first time. The eye’s pupil incorporates an eclipse, the dawning of something new, something unique but accessible. Something far, but near.”

The new visual was identity was created by Philippe Starck in conjunction with leading design agency GBH Design Ltd.

Mark Bonner, Creative Director at GBH Design Ltd, added: “It is an honor and a privilege to work within one of the most exciting ventures in the world today. Our aim is not just to create something that represents the opportunity for an ordinary person to travel into space and to look back at the planet where we all live, but also to represent the incredible spirit of human endeavor that continues to push us all forward”.

Richard Branson and the Virgin Galactic team feel that the new logo looks towards the future of space travel rather than using imagery more in the style with a wonderful but bygone age.

Sir Richard Branson said: “Philippe has come up with the most fantastic logo, which encapsulates our vision of the future. When I look at the logo I am reminded of childlike awe. I believe it represents all those who will watch and be a part of the growth of this amazing new commercial aviation sector. Whether they be six or sixty, all will see and believe that a new chapter in the story of space flight has begun.”

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