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Spaceport America sees significant tourism uptick after Sunday's launch to space

KDBC El Paso logo KDBC El Paso 7/16/2021 Salina Madrid

It’s been only three days since the world saw Virgin Galactic's rocket-powered plane make it to space with Billionaire Richard Branson and his full crew.

“It’s even more mind-bending to think about this happening eventually multiple times a week, which is Virgin Galactic's big plan,” Scott McLaughlin, the executive director for Spaceport America said.

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Since Sunday’s launch, McLaughlin said Spaceport America has received an overwhelming response from people across the country wanting to visit the site. If you try to log onto Spaceport Americas website and book a tour, you won’t be able to schedule your trip until November at the earliest, tours for the next few months are now sold out.

“We’ve also got an uptick on LinkedIn and through some other emails of people wanting to work with us directly on aerospace, so that’s a big deal, that’s our main focus is to get some more aerospace companies here, so we’re excited about that,” McLaughlin said.

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Caption: Salina Madrid reports on{{ }}Spaceport America sees significant tourism uptick after Sunday's launch to space

The future for Spaceport America is bright. He said eventually the site could potentially progress to offering spaceport to spaceport transportation.

“That might happen. It also could happen that the spaceport stays a location for businesses like Virgin Galactic who are doing space tourism, but we also focus just on test and development type companies, companies that want to perfect their technologies in a remote era, which is one of the huge benefits of Spaceport America, our air space, the remote nature, and the low population,” McLaughlin said.

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McLaughlin expects space tourism in New Mexico to blast off.

“New Mexico invested quite a bit of money in Spaceport America and I think the launch on Sunday helped people understand that this investment is going to pay off that we’re eventually going to get there,” McLaughlin said.

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Following the success of this launch Spaceport America is getting some new additions.

“We are working on some more public viewing areas that are going to be right at the Spaceport, so we hope to have something if not by the next launch, but by the second launch and certainly by 2022. This will probably just be a parking area, but we’ll get you right close on-site where you can watch the spaceships take off and watch them land,” McLaughlin said.

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