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Creating the Spaceport America Experience

A Turnkey Solution

The New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) contracted with IDEAS to design the facilities and exhibits aimed at inspiring and educating visitors to Spaceport America, the world’s first commercial spaceport, located in New Mexico. IDEAS partnered with long-time, best of breed collaborators Integrated Insight, Exline Design, MYDesign, and Blackhorse Worldwide along with SMPC Architects and Cordava Marketing Group to form Team IDEAS and provide turnkey project services to NMSA. Team IDEAS’ work included market profiling, demand modeling, business/financial trade studies and plans, pricing and budgeting, overall visitor planning and programming, branding/ identity development and strategy planning, website design, and message development. The Team also provided all experience design, creative concept validation, exhibit and attraction fabrication, acquisition, installation and training, development of architectural/engineering design and construction level documents, construction administration, and robust private sponsorship/alliance development. The entire project kicked off in August 2011, with build-out completed and grand opening in April 2015.

An Open Invitation To Space

Through our robust, story-based brand development process, IDEAS revitalized the Spaceport America brand and created a new visual identity to reflect the spirit of adventurous exploration, the promise of human potential, and the powerful combination of applied vision and courage that Spaceport America exemplifies as it launches the next generation of space. It embraces the mission to lead the world in enabling safe and economical access to space through collaborative innovation by developing and operating the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport, inspiring and enlightening the next generation by offering the world an invitation to space. The Spaceport America brand is rooted in delivering economic prosperity to stakeholders through public and private cooperation, stewardship of the environment, and the celebration of New Mexico’s cultural-heritage. It assures that every customer and visitor becomes not only an enthusiast, but a genuine partner-in-space with their curiosity stimulated, a blossoming lifelong relationship with Spaceport America, and a strong desire to continue their personal space journey.

“…Just as the concept of exploration is a deep component of the imagined visitor experience, the brand itself must also portray a sense of being on the informed leading edge of the market…”

“…The Spaceport America Identity is named “Spirit” because it represents multiple ideas and communicates on many levels. The shapes represent two stars coming together – the collaboration of innovative efforts to propel man’s reach into space…”

An Aspiration To Go Beyond

Multiple immersive encounters both at the Spaceport America Visitor Center in Truth or Consequences, NM and onsite in the Gateway Gallery inside the iconic Gateway To Space terminal hangar facility, provide Earthbound visitors with imaginatively entertaining and engaging learning experiences throughout their journey to Spaceport America. With origins dating thousands of years into the past, Spaceport America builds upon a heritage of exploration, commerce, and discovering new frontiers that has is rooted in the history of New Mexico history. Mixed media and interactive games place the challenges of commercial space travel and exploration into the hands of visitors to solve in order to succeed. Onsite tours and access to the Gateway Gallery inside the Gateway To Space terminal hangar facility give visitors unprecedented views of the future of space exploration. Visitors are entertained and engaged at every touch-point along the way. The Spaceport America visitor experience is designed to appeal to a broad range of guests including local residents, families and all age-levels of students; corporate, government and media VIPs; both space neophytes and high-income sub-orbital space travelers that “have done it all”; guests with varied ethnicities and first-languages, along with the customers and space travelers who will be launching into space at Spaceport America.

Learning Through Play

We believe that the concept of “play” is one of the most important elements to advancing the human race. We designed four interactive game kiosks that allowed guests to interact with Spaceport America on a different level. While solving puzzles in Place in Space and Mission Manifest, dodging debris in Cosmic Cleanup, or helping solve a crisis in Mission Control, players of all ages would be learning about commercial space travel and operations at Spaceport America.

Building a Digital Brand Through Story

Spaceport America not only wanted to enhance the guest experience on location; they also wanted to extend their reach to potential guests by providing a small piece of the Spaceport America experience to everyone. The Spaceport Builder app was designed to capture the essence of the Spaceport America experience by empowering users to build their own spaceport in a story-driven adventure designed for users of all ages.

Looking to the Future While Honoring the Past

Honoring New Mexico’s history and paying homage to the incredible story of humankind leading up to the creation of Spaceport America was an important core story element. The Journey Upward mural and companion app was designed to exemplify that element by bringing the story of New Mexico’s cultural heritage to life in an interactive experience and empowering guests to explore New Mexico’s rich past while learning about key points in time.

History on the Move

IDEAS developed media elements for the Spaceport America visitor experience presenting the rich culture of New Mexico, the storied past of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, New Mexico’s early space history, and the exciting potential for commercial space travel and exploration that continues New Mexico’s legacy of pioneering and exploration.