Want proof that we're living in the future? How about this: as of yesterday, there's now a commercial spaceport with a fancy new passenger terminal open for business in New Mexico that'll give anyone who can afford it rides into space.
"Commercial space terminal" is one of those things that you find in science fiction books. Like, it's one of the ways you know you're reading something futuristic: someone has to go catch their spaceship at the spaceport.
Now, that someone can be you!
Virgin Galactic officially dedicated their "Gateway to Space" at Spaceport America in New Mexico yesterday. It's a combination passenger terminal and hanger that can handle a pair of WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo launch vehicles, and has facilities for everything from astronaut training to mission control. Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson kicked off the ceremony by rappelling down the face of the new building (cool?) along with his two kids, who will also be Virgin Galactic's first official passengers within a year or two.
These first few tickets to space don't come cheap: expect to pay $200,000 with a $20,000 deposit for six minutes of sub-orbital weightlessness. But it's all worth it to be able to show up at an actual spaceport, get on board an actual spacecraft, and just fly into space. It's not science fiction anymore, people: this is now our world.
Via Virgin Galactic