Aviation

WATCH: Virgin Galactic showcases new Spaceport passenger lounge

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

Virgin Galactic has revealed “inspired” and “bold” designs in the interior of the ‘Gateway to Space’ building at Spaceport America.

The door has been opened on Virgin Galactic’s Gateway to Space building, with the company offering details of an Earth and sky inspired design for the facility.

Last month, Travel Weekly reported that Richard Branson was aiming for the launch of Galactic to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing on 20 July, aiming to be the first commercial space-line in the world. Realistically,  at this stage, Virgin Galactic expects to make space tourism a reality by the end of this year.

The work completed showcases two floors of the Spaceport America building in New Mexico, primarily focused on spaceflight operations, which also incorporates communal spaces designed for use in the future by Virgin Galactic customers, along with their friends and families.

According to Virgin Galactic, completion of this interior work means the spaceport facility is now operationally functional and able to support flight requirements.

Virgin Galactic says it has “striven to remain faithful” to its tradition of innovation by choosing an “elegant, experience-focused concept for the space launch system itself”.

Similarly, the company’s choice to operate from Spaceport America in New Mexico was due in no small part to the state’s decision to commission landmark architecture for the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport.

Gaia Lounge Dinning Area at The Gateway To Space
Gaia Lounge Dinning Area at The Gateway To Space

The Foster + Partners Gateway to Space facility pays homage to the past in its “respect for the ancient surrounding landscape” as well as “powerfully embracing the future” through energy efficiency and sustainability.

It was also specifically designed to enable Virgin Galactic to create an unparalleled experience as its customers prepare for journeys of a lifetime before graduating as astronauts.

Gaia Lounge Dinning Area
Gaia Lounge Dinning Area

“The first floor is focused on our home planet, and is named Gaia, representing the point of departure and return, as well as the purpose of each astronaut’s journey,” Virgin Galactic writes on its website.

“Gaia is subtly and unobtrusively zoned into practical, formal and informal spaces which will host the space operations team, Future Astronauts and their family and friends.”

 Interactive Walkway at The Gateway To Space
Interactive Walkway at The Gateway To Space

An elevated, interactive digital walkway will “heighten the departure experience” for future astronauts and their friends and family as they set out from Spaceport to VSS Unity on the day of flight.

Cirrus Level of Gateway to Space, flight operations working area
Cirrus Level of Gateway to Space, flight operations working area

“The second floor is named Cirrus, representing light, air and flight. It is the beating heart of spaceflight operations, and is connected to the community hub of Gaia below through a double height atrium,” Virgin Galactic adds.

“The color palette graduates from the earthy tones below in Gaia to lighter white and grey shades, reflecting the skies beyond and providing a clean environment supporting operational focus.”

Installations on Cirrus Level of Gateway to Space, New Mexico
Installations on Cirrus Level of Gateway to Space, New Mexico

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