TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. (KRQE) – Spaceport America Experience held its grand opening of its new visitor center.
The 1930’s historic adobe building houses modern interactive exhibits, including one that allows visitors to see how many Gs they can master while controlling a flight wheel. The idea is that the old frontier meets the new.
The ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday came almost six years to the day after groundbreaking at Spaceport America, roughly 30 miles away.
Christine Anderson, CEO of Spaceport America, said, “During that time, we’ve had 23 launches at the Spaceport. We’ve employed over 1400 New Mexicans, which is important, and we’re just getting started.”
At the visitors center in Truth or Consequences, guests can see how they would do living, playing and working in space for free. For the full tour, you can buy tickets and a bus will take you to the Spaceport America site.
“We are truly delighted to welcome Spaceport America Visitor Center as well as the many visitors from around the state of New Mexico and the globe to our beautiful city,” said Sandra Whitehead, mayor of Truth or Consequences.
Spaceport America’s CEO is still confident space flights will launch soon.
“We have commercial passenger airlines today, and we don’t think anything about getting on those and flying all over the globe. Just think what this is going to do. To have a commercial passenger spaceline, and how that’s going to change all of our lives,” Anderson said.
The goal was for Virgin Galactic, the anchor tenant, to start space flights sometime this year, but that has been delayed following the crash of one of their spaceships.
“One of the things that we know as Americans is that you can’t stop when things get hard. If we stopped when Apollo 1 happened, the Apollo program, where would we be?” said George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic. “So we didn’t stop. We’re not going to stop, and we’re going to bring commercial spaceport to the State of New Mexico, and it’s going to be a truly historic thing,” he said at the dedication.
The Spaceport America Visitor Center in Truth of Consequences includes the free Nav Knowledge and Space Medicine Exhibit and the Kid Spaceport. Guests can also purchase Spaceport America merchandise.
To visit the Spaceport America site, general admission for adults can be purchased at the center for $49.99. Discounted tickets for online purchases are $44.99. Visitors under the age of 18 can tour for the facility for $29.99. Locals in Sierra and Dona Ana counties can receive tickets for $25 a person.
Morning tours are available on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They depart at 9 a.m. and return to the Visitor Center at approximately 1 p.m. Tours in the afternoon are available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during peak season. They leave at 1:30 p.m. and return by 5:30 p.m.
The Spaceport America Experience is located at 301 S. Foch Street in Truth or Consequences.