Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Behind the Scenes at World's First Spaceport in New Mexico Desert
In the deserts of the western United States, space tourism is becoming a reality as construction progresses on Spaceport America -- the world’s first purpose-built commercial space travel facility, 45 miles north of Las Cruces, N.M. Today, concrete and rebar litter the ground here as crews build walls and windows, roads and runways. They've been toiling for a year and a half and will continue until 2013, when a glowing, round disk standing testimony to the future will be unveiled in the desert -- at least according to artists' imaginations of the facility. Right now it looks like any old construction site, with men in hard hats and prosaic dump trucks carting rubble in and out. In 2013, things will be different. “You’ll experience weightlessness, they’ll actually go near space so you’ll see the curvature of the Earth,” Chris Anderson, executive director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority, told FoxNews.com. When the facility is finished, a mere $200,000 will let you take a voyage at least partway to the stars: Virgin Galactic will be the first carrier to transport space-curious passengers from Spaceport America on its sub-orbital missions. The facility is more than 100,000 square feet and includes the terminal hangar and a public viewing gallery for inquisitive visitors not wishing to launch -- it looks out on a desert plain that will someday be filled with spacecraft, some shaped like traditional rockets, others space shuttle-like planes, wingless round disks or whatever spaceship designers of the future come up with. Anderson said the flat desert location 4,600 feet above sea level is ideal for space travel...more