A visionary project of the New Mexico Space Authority and home to Virgin Galactic's spaceflight program, Spaceport America is the world's first spaceport designed with commercial space business needs in mind.
During the 1990s, the Southwest Space Task Force decided to incorporate commercial space and reusable launch vehicles into New Mexico's space industry. It chose 27 square miles of state-owned land as a location for an inland spaceport and approached Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Rick Homans for help. Homans presented the idea of a New Mexico spaceport to the governor, and the project moved forward.
In 2008, Virgin Galactica established its headquarters in New Mexico and its operations were located at Spaceport America, which broke ground June 19, 2009. Construction on Spaceport America's 10,000- by 200-foot runway began in August 2009 and was dedicated Oct. 22, 2010.
A notable feature of the spaceport's 110,000-square-foot terminal hangar facility is a uniquely shaped, 60-foot-high rolling roof system consisting of 12 primary undulating steel trusses spanning more than 180 feet with a 45-foot cantilever at the eastern ridge.
Installed by Progressive Roofing LLC, Albuquerque, N.M., the roof system consists of 90,000 square feet of 60-mil-thick EPDM membrane adhered to foam board, three layers of 2-inch-thick polyisocyanurate insulation, and numerous layers of protective coatings. United Coatings' Kymax® was chosen as the topcoat finish.
Spaceport America is located west of the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in Sierra County, N.M, and is open to the public.
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