Spaceport America’s new runway is nearing completion.
February 22: Spaceport America’s new runway took shape on February 11 with the initial concrete pour on the 10,000ft long by 200ft wide structure at Upham in New Mexico, USA.
At the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport, the runway is designed to support nearly every aircraft in the world, as well as the day-to-day space tourism and payload launch operations proposed by Virgin Galactic. It will accommodate returning launch vehicles, fly-back rocket boosters and other space launch and training vehicles.
Construction of the runway began in August 2009 and is expected to be completed this summer, according to the New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA). The multi-layered runway is made up of 24 inches of prepared subgrade with the top six inches being a soil-cement mix foundation, followed by four inches of asphalt, and finally a 14-inch finish layer of concrete.