Saturday, February 14, 2015

♥♡ Spaceport America holds first-ever Valentine's Day fly-in

LAS CRUCES >> Spaceport America hosted 10 private pilots and 24 of their guests Saturday in a first-ever fly-in event held at the spaceport on Valentine's Day.

Visiting aircraft at the event ranging from a large twin-engine, 6-passenger Cessna aircraft to a two-seat, homebuilt RV 4, parked on the spaceport apron around the iconic "Gateway to Space" terminal-hangar building, according to a news release.

Spaceport America Executive Director Christine Anderson and her staff took the group of pilots and their passengers on a special morning tour of the Spaceport Operations Center and then during a luncheon updated the group on the spaceport's progress. The spaceport guests were treated to a private tour of the terminal-hangar building given by Jonathan Firth, Virgin Galactic senior vice president, before departing in mid-afternoon.

"Today's unique event gave our spaceport staff a chance to share a glimpse of the future of the commercial space industry with members of the aviation community and also allowed them an opportunity to work together on a large airfield operations mission," Anderson said. "We look forward to doing more community outreach projects like this with the public in the near future."

Virgin Galactic is the spaceport's main tenant.

Spaceport America, located in southeastern Sierra County, has logged more than 5,000 visitors to date who've toured the spaceport by taking public tours offered by the Follow The Sun tour company, according to the news release. Follow The Sun will be expanding their tours from three to five days a week to accommodate the new "Spaceport America Visitors Experience." The new experience will include a visit to the on-site Gateway Gallery, featuring many interactive displays, exhibits and the new Spaceport America Visitor Center in Truth or Consequences.

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