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Arizona Gets a Spaceport  

Arizona Gets a Spaceport   
January 22
15:16 2016

Prospective space tourism company, World View Enterprises (WVE), has just received a grant to build a spaceport in Arizona after a vote by Pima County.

The decision to award the grant in the amount of $14.5 million will allow WVE to expand their development capabilities and improve payload flights.

The money will go towards building a 120,000-square-foot headquarters facility which the company will lease, along with the spaceport and a significant amount of manufacturing space.

According to WVE’s Chief Technology Officer, Taber MacCallum, Arizona was favorable for a spaceport because of its calm constant weather which will make balloon flights more reliable.

WVE took Pima County’s offer over Spaceport America, whom had been negotiating with WVE for manufacturing sites in New Mexico.

The spaceport that is to be built will simply be named Spaceport Tucson.

WVE also plans to construct its new headquarters next to the spaceport. The headquarters will serve as the main face of the new County Aerospace, Defense and Technology Business and Research Park.

While spaceships may still be science fiction, WVE’s plan is to load passengers in a capsule, which is then hoisted up to the stratosphere within two hours, and will then “float” for several hours allowing its passengers to take in the sights of the earth below.  The capsule is expected to have Wi-Fi capability for those who can’t wait to share pictures of the once in a lifetime view.

When the company begins commercial space flight, tickets will cost about $75,000.

Spaceport Tucson will not be certified for rocket launches initially, and it’s unclear if rockets will play any part in the future of the company.

In the fall of last year, WVE launched a scientific payload into the stratosphere from the Page Municipal Airport.

Crewed test flights are scheduled for 2017 and commercial flights are expected to “take off” in 2018.

 

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