back to article Branson breaks ground on US rocketplane spaceport

Construction has begun on Richard Branson's multi-million-dollar rocketplane spaceport in the remote high-desert of southern New Mexico. The Brit billionaire along with local dignitaries held a ceremonial groundbreaking Friday, featuring a launch of model rockets, historic reenactors dressed as Spanish colonials*, and a road …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Carbon Footprint

    I am in favour of manned space flight but why don't the greens object? Is Branson made out of teflon or is he just too cuddly?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Branson Space Shite

    If you have ever had the pleasure of using Branson's trains, you will know that space flight and Branson simply do not mix.

  3. peter 5 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    No, actually this is a good thing...

    I've spent my life being snarky about manned space flight, but this is genuinely good news. The bearded tycoon is not gonna stop with suborbital flights. And the fact that their are dumb rich folks stupid enough to throw cash at this "experience" means the industry will grow to a point where it is possible to spend a weekend at L1 or L4. (Now I all I gotta do is figure out how to earn enough cash to be able to afford it...)

  4. Jez Burns

    Billionaire builds playground / theme park for the super-rich..

    Hasn't he seen Jurrassic Park, West World etcetera? This is bound to end in tears.

  5. Gene Cash Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    roader grater?

    Is that like a road grader? Or more proof of how cheesy it all is?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    This really Grates

    So, a "roader grater" was at work in a symbolic fashion (great image of someone shaving the top surface off a road) - sounds like someone was listening in a shambolic fashion. I must admit that I don't know roads but I do know graters - those things designed to create little pieces of cheese etc for sprinkling (leads to a great image of someone shaving the top surface off a road) .

    I think they may have used a road GRADER but I wasn't there, didn't see any news nor have I seen a press release.

    I'm the one in the pedants glasses

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Still a little way short of true spaceflight...

    I won't hold my breath waiting for Branson to progress to true orbital flight - there's a big difference between the maximum Mach 3 achieved by SpaceShipOne and the Mach 25 needed to achieve orbit - it takes 60 to 70 times as much energy, for one thing.

  8. A B 3

    I can visualize it...

    Like Aliens (ty JC) you be strapped in via full body harness. Some smart alec will say, "Express elevator to hell, going down." Then, wooosh! (sry I just put spittle on my screen). Someone will puke and promptly discover the hazards of puking in zero G. Something akin to the big bang. Nonetheless the twisting descent will probably be the funnest part, much like you would find on a rollercoaster. Oh wait I can have that thrill for $100.

  9. Phillip Williams 1

    Delivers late, not was was promised, or not-at-all.

    Branson? That clown has been launching/announcing/signing/ground-breaking new schemes for years and years as so often (see Tom Bower's excellent book on him) strangely either delivers late, not was was promised, or not-at-all.

    Bit like Virgin Trains, come to think of it.

    And he/his empire pay little or no UK tax: Or do sodd-all in Charity donations...

    Old Beardie ain't the guy he wants you to think he is..



  10. Anonymous Coward

    What if

    Yeah, but if they build that nanofibre-tetherlift up to space they can counterbalance an artificial L-point and both hoist to, and launch from. Then the rest o' the solsys.

    They better build those gianormous, enclosed greenhouses on the moon.

    Go for faster.

  11. ark

    where are the pictures ...

    ... that were not allowed to be taken ?

  12. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Has anyone thought about immigration control

    Considering how anal US immigration is, do you send a message from the White Knight asking for permission to enter the US of A - and if they refuse are you stuck in orbit ?

  13. jeffrey 1

    Like other virgin transport?

    Will the seating area on bransons spacplane stink of sewage? or is this design feature just availabe on pendelinos and super voyagers?

  14. Ray0x6


    "After all the hard work to get this project off the ground, it is gratifying to see Spaceport America finally become a reality," Richardson said.

    Uhhhm. Is there suddenly a new fashion for nicknaming bizpterprenuers with contractions? First we had Suralun, now we have Richardson. What next? Dunnatyne? Pakenna? Simowell?

  15. Anonymous Coward


    Try here:

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