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Spaceport America prepares to launch commercially next year

Virgin Galactic will soon relocate 85 – 90 employees from California to southern New Mexico as the company prepares to launch commercially in 2018, according to an investigation by NMPolitics.net.

The company currently has 21 employees in that area, the investigation found.

For ten years, the company has had setback after setback.

The $220 million Spaceport broke ground in 2009 with plans to bring numerous jobs to southern New Mexico.

In October 2014, the company’s SpaceShipTwo crashed, killing one pilot during a test flight. The tragedy further delayed the company’s plans for commercial flight.

Shortly after the crash, the company’s CEO, Sir Richard Branson, promised he would fight to continue the operation:

“We do understand the risks involved and we are not going to push on blindly – to do so would be an insult to all those affected by this tragedy,” Branson said in 2014. “We are going to learn from what went wrong, discover how we can improve safety and performance, and then move forwards together.”

In May 2017, the company had its first successful test flight for the ‘feather’ re-entry system, allowing the company to progress toward its plans to fly next year.

Now, Branson promises to enter space next year, nearly a decade after his original promise.

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