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Give that ticket to ride!

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By Ralph Damiani

Well, it’s official. New Mexico’s multimillion-dollar spaceport is moving ahead toward construction in the southern desert, a big step for commercial space development and tourists who will suit up for $200,000 suborbital flights.

Put me down for one of those. What a bargain.

Of course, this belies the fact that the high price of a ticket killed the Concord. But we’re sure that there will be hundreds of folks ready to put down a couple of hundred grand to liftoff.

Gov. Richardson and other dignitaries staged a ceremonial groundbreaking Friday at the remote site of Spaceport America in Sierra County.

“Today will be a signal that America needs to regain its leadership in space, both in national space and commercial space,” Richardson said. “Today is historic because New Mexico leads the nation in commercial space.”

Really? That’s cool.

From the soon to be constructed 10,000-foot runway, spacecraft will take flight attached to an airplane, then break free and rocket 62 miles into space before returning to the New Mexico site. Flights will last about two hours and include five minutes of weightlessness.

For $200,000?


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