Virgin Galactic Unveils New Gateway to Space Building


Scaled Composites White Knight Two flyover, Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic and Sir Richard Branson have officially unveiled the interior fit-out of its Gateway to Space building at Spaceport America in New Mexico.

The spaceport will be primarily focused on spaceflight operations, but will also house communal spaces designed for the Virgin Galactic customers and their friends and families before and after a trip to the edge of space.

The completion of Gateway to Space’s interior work means the facility is now operationally functional and able to support Virgin Galactic’s flight requirements.

The Gateway to Space building uses landmark architecture to highlight its history as the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport. In addition to its efficiency and sustainability, the facility will enable Virgin Galactic to create an unparalleled experience as its customers prepare for journeys of a lifetime before graduating as astronauts.

The first floor has been dubbed Gaia and will act as the point of departure and return for astronauts. An elevated digital walkway will also heighten the experience as travelers set out from Spaceport to VSS Unity on the day of their flight. Gaia will also house the Barista Island, a social hub for Virgin Galactic’s hospitality team to engage with guests and staff.

The second floor has been dubbed Cirrus and is the heart of spaceflight operations, housing Mission Control, the Mission Briefing Room, the Pilot Corps and the rest of the Flight Operations team.

As for Virgin Galactic’s space fleet, the aircraft will be housed in the Gateway to Space hangar. The facility is large enough to accommodate two carrier aircraft, each with a wingspan of 140 feet, along with five SpaceShipTwo vehicles.