Foster & Partners' Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space Now Open for Business

In case you either a) happen not to be out in rural New Mexico, or b) weren’t in an alien ship looking for somewhere to land, then allow us to get you up to speed. Earlier this week marked the official grand opening of the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space, which is essentially a large runway out in the middle of the desert, with a manta ray-looking main facility designed by Foster & Partners and the firms URS and SMPC. Virgin owner Richard Branson was on hand, rappelling from the roof with a bottle of champagne to christen the new facility with (here’s video of that). Building Design has some nice photos of Foster’s building out there in the middle of nowhere that will soon be launching and receiving space craft (Branson and his son and daughter will be the first to make the trip from the site). And here’s video of the impressive, but also slightly awkward (given the angle from which it was shot) performance at the opening by the high-flying Project Bandaloop.