New Mexico Commercial Spaceport Plans Still Active Despite Recession

The New York Times returns to the site of the first future commercial spaceport and finds a project that is very much alive despite economic woes throughout the world:

Past a ranch that used to be a stage stop on an ancient trade route called El Camino Real… where rattlesnakes hibernate and rabbits scurry… unfolds a two-mile runway designed to accommodate spaceships.  This is not a secret government project, or some NASA reception hall for alien dignitaries. This is Spaceport America, a $198 million endeavor by the State of New Mexico to plumb the commercial potential of the suborbital heavens — a place once known only to astronauts, dreamers and the occasional chimp.

Sign near {{w|Upham, New Mexico}}, USA. Area n...
Site of Future Spaceport, Image via Wikipedia

About five years ago, things began to click. Since then, New Mexico has added the spaceport to its economic development plan; Virgin Galactic, the commercial space travel business of the British billionaire Richard Branson, has signed a 20-year lease; construction has begun; and 326 people have placed reservations for their trip to suborbital space. Virgin Galactic says it has received $44 million in deposits so far.

via This Land – A New Exit to Space Readies for Business – NYTimes.com.

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Sorin Adam Matei

Sorin Adam Matei – Professor of Communication at Purdue University – studies the relationship between information technology and social groups. He published papers and articles in Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Information Society, and Foreign Policy. He is the author or co-editor of several books. The most recent is Structural differentation in social media. He also co-edited Ethical Reasoning in Big Data,Transparency in social media and Roles, Trust, and Reputation in Social Media Knowledge Markets: Theory and Methods (Computational Social Sciences) , all three the product of the NSF funded KredibleNet project. Dr. Matei’s teaching portfolio includes online interaction, and online community analytics and development classes. His teaching makes use of a number of software platforms he has codeveloped, such as Visible Effort . Dr. Matei is also known for his media work. He is a former BBC World Service journalist whose contributions have been published in Esquire and several leading Romanian newspapers. In Romania, he is known for his books Boierii Mintii (The Mind Boyars), Idolii forului (Idols of the forum), and Idei de schimb (Spare ideas).

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