LAS CRUCES – Spaceport America has announced the relaunch of the Spaceport America Experience Tour.
In partnership with Final Frontier Tours, a Las Cruces company owned by Curtis Rosemond, space enthusiasts and visitors can again have a hands-on, fun experience inside a commercial space launch facility.
“We are excited to welcome back visitors from around the world to Spaceport America and to New Mexico,” said Rosa Bañuelos, head of business development for Spaceport America.
Tours to the spaceport have been on hold since the previous private tour operator, Follow the Sun, and the spaceport ended their relationship in 2016. Spaceport officials will continue to work with Follow The Sun on tours from the north and other events, although Final Frontier Tours is now the official tour operator, Bañuelos said.
Visitors with Final Frontier Tours will begin their journey at the Spaceport America Visitor Center, an historic adobe building located at 301 S. Foch St. in Truth or Consequences. The visitor center is packed with educational and interactive space exhibits and is the point of embarkation for the tour to the spaceport. Visitors can purchase tour tickets online or in person prior to journeying out to the Spaceport America site on rolling multi-media theater shuttles.
After arriving at the secure Spaceport America site and ascending the gentle rise of the Astronaut Walk, visitors enter the Gateway Gallery where their journey through commercial space continues with numerous interactive exhibits and kiosks. Some visitors choose to experience the G-Shock simulator, which subjects the would-be astronaut to rapid acceleration comparable to what an actual astronaut might feel in flight.
Later, visitors venture into the Spaceport Operations Center and interact with Spaceport America crew members and the state-of-the-art fire station before stopping in front of the iconic URS/Foster + Partners structure, Gateway to Space terminal/hangar for a photo opportunity. The Spaceport America Experience journey lasts approximately four hours.
“We are extremely excited to partner with Spaceport America as their official tour guide,” Rosemond said. “The partnership for Final Frontier Tours will allow us the opportunity to introduce worldwide travelers to our state and to the world’s first purpose-built, commercial spaceport.”
Rosemond established Final Frontier Tours LLC in June. He is in a partnership with VIP Southwest Services, a luxury transportation service. Ernie Harp, the owner of Las Cruces Shuttle, is Rosemond’s partner with VIP Southwest Services which was established three years ago. If Final Frontier Tour clients request a special custom tour in a limousine or a 14-passenger luxury coach, Rosemond will use VIP Southwest Services’ fleet to accommodate that request.
“The economic impact that Spaceport America will bring to the region in tourism will be incredible and Final Frontier Tours is proud to be a small component of helping to create tourism opportunities,” Rosemond said.
“Spaceport America is proud to partner with Final Frontier Tours and looks forward to continuing to work with the City of Truth or Consequences and surrounding communities,” said Daniel Hicks, CEO of Spaceport America.
“We are excited that the Spaceport America tours will be starting soon and wish Final Frontier Tours and Spaceport the best of success,” said T of C Mayor Steve Green. “The tours … will have a positive economic impact on our city.”