First glimpse inside Spaceport America
It’s so exciting to get the first glimpse inside Spaceport America and see where our journey to space will begin.
Virgin Galactic has revealed the interior of its Gateway to Space facility at Spaceport America, featuring a beautiful communal lounge area and the spaceflight operations floor.
This will be the hub of all the action for our remaining test flight program and it’s where we will welcome our very first Future Astronauts.
The spaceport is an architectural marvel. We brought in Virgin Atlantic’s veteran architect and interior designer, Jeremy Brown, to collaborate with Viewport Studio - and the team have truly created something special.
At Virgin, we always aspire to create bold designs that transform the customer experience. The design of the Gateway to Space definitely lives up to this ethos – paying respect to the surrounding landscape while embracing the future through energy efficiency and sustainability.
The first floor has been named Gaia – a nod to Greek Mythology where the goddess Gaia represented Earth and was seen as the ancestral mother of all life. The space represents our incredible planet and the point of departure and return for our Future Astronauts. On this floor, everything has been meticulously designed to create a sense of togetherness and unity as it hosts the space operations team, Future Astronauts and their family and friends.
This is definitely my favourite floor in the building – it’s where everyone is part of the Virgin Galactic family. Future Astronauts will share breakfast with spaceship pilots, share a tea with rocket engineers and hang out with the Mission Control team at ‘Barista Island’.
The second floor is where the space missions really come to life – home to Mission Control, the Mission Briefing Room, the Pilot Corps and the rest of the Flight Operations team.
It’s been named Cirrus and reflects light, air, flight and the skies beyond. The two floors are connected through a double height atrium, building upon this unique sense of unity and connection that the space missions create.
The Gateway to Space hangar will be home to the Virgin Galactic’s space fleet. It’s a colossal space - large enough to fit two carrier aircraft, each with a wingspan of 140 ft along with five SpaceShipTwo vehicles.
Our mothership VMS Eve, is already settling in nicely after recently completing her 266th flight from Mojave to New Mexico. Since arriving she has already completed a number of simulated spaceship launch missions in the air space, helping our teams to familiarise themselves with the area.
Opening up the Gateway to Space is a significant milestone on our cosmic adventure. I couldn’t be more excited by the unveiling today and would like to thank everyone who helped to turn what was an out-of-this-world vision into an architectural reality.