Space travel testing rockets launched in desert

Space travel testing rockets launched in desert

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PHOENIX -

Virgin Galactic is looking to capitalize on space travel. The company has finished a launch pad in the southwest desert and they're hoping to send tourists to outer space by next year.

The images from space are impressive -- the idea, not so far away. In the next couple years common space travel may be a reality. Now finished, the spaceport in is the middle of the New Mexico desert.

"The spaceport is finished doing interior work, putting computers in. What's impressive is that people working with NASA are now involved with the spaceport," says Betsy Donley, Virgin Galactic accredited space agent.

Its curves and technology are fitting for future space travel.

The rocket launch to test the power source of the space craft carrying passengers will be tested in the desert. Former NASA employees are also working with that process.

"The new thing is that this rocket motor is being tested in the Mohave Desert and it is imminently going to be put in the space ship and they will fire it off," says Donley.

Betsy Donley is an official space agent who books travel for folks. She visited the space port and says it's all built by bonds and Virgin Galactic.

"The government of New Mexico appropriated $225 million. Virgin Galactic put in some and they just passed another bond issue to do the rest."

So the question is whether you would pay $200,000 for 5 minutes in space. The first trip is expected in 2014.

The time in space is only 5 minutes -- but it will take 45 minutes to get back to Planet Earth. 600 people have already signed up.

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