New Mexico says 'Yes' to Branson spaceport

After two days of waiting, the spaceport supporters are smiling. They won a narrow vote in rural Doña Ana County, New Mexico.

Now British billionaire, Richard Branson, can launch his Virgin Galactic space tourism biz there. He's already signed a long-term lease. The new local county sales tax will cover $50 million of the costs, Branson about three times that much.

Virgin Galactic says you can book a 2.5-hour space flight for about $200,000, starting in 2009. There are now many competitors in this newest space race, and Russia's already selling flights commercially.

For a look at some of the other spaceports, check our photo gallery. The Ras Al-Khaima spaceport will be near Dubai, fast becoming the Mideast's cross between Las Vegas, Hong Kong and DisneyWorld. There's one in the Mojave. And there's one planned in Singapore. For a long list of spaceports-to-be, see wikipedia.

Because of the concern about global warming, I gotta ask: are these spacecraft gonna use hydrogen fuel?

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    Harry Fuller escaped from television work to be executive editor at CNET News.com.

     

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