The New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) announced the selection of IDEAS as the contractor to develop the Spaceport America Visitor Experience. The company was awarded a two-phase contract. IDEAS and their team will oversee the design and development of the Visitor Experience and facilities at Spaceport America, as well as the design, fabrication and installation of all exhibits and attractions for visitors to the spaceport. The company will also conduct market research, enhance the spaceport branding and marketing, and facilitate alliance and sponsorship development opportunities. IDEAS will also provide construction administration during the building phase of the Visitor Experience facilities.
IDEAS leads a team of companies that will work together to provide all the Visitor Experience requirements during the 27-month contract period. Other team members include: Integrated Insight, Inc.; ORCA Consulting LLC; Cordova Marketing Group; Exline Design and Architecture; MYDesign, Inc.; and Blackhorse Worldwide. Team members from New Mexico include SMPC Architects, of Albuquerque NM and Larry Littlebird, of Santa Fe NM. The contract called for companies to create partnerships to provide a wide range of services to develop the spaceport’s Visitor Experience.
Team IDEAS members have provided a broad range of services in experience development for a list of clients that includes every major Walt Disney theme park & resort around the world, major Universal Studios theme parks, NASCAR, the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, the U.S. Capitol, the Statue of Liberty, the United States Air Force and the United States Navy. This caliber of relevant experience makes the team well-suited to develop the story, design, market analytics, operational strategy, and facilities of the Spaceport America Visitor Experience.
“We are very excited to have Team IDEAS onboard to develop Spaceport America’s tourism experience,” said Christine Anderson, Executive Director of the NMSA. “Their relevant experience in the entertainment and education industry, with an emphasis on creative storytelling and a strong focus on education and learning design, is a great match for Spaceport America. All together, the companies working under Team IDEAS will create the highest value for the project.”
Bob Allen, Chairman and Chief Storytelling Officer of IDEAS, said “it’s a dream come true to create the Visitor Experience for Spaceport America. The next step in human space exploration is the most exciting story we can imagine and will require a completely fresh approach. Our goal is to create as authentic and participatory an experience as possible for spaceport visitors and to delight and inspire future generations of New Mexicans and our guests from around the world to pursue emerging opportunities in science and technology.”
The initial Spaceport America Visitor Experience is expected to reach operational capacity in the first half of 2013, about the time Virgin Galactic is hoping to be ready to begin their operations from Spaceport America. The recently-begun Spaceport America Preview Tours will provide visitors a taste of the project until the full Visitor Experience is ready.
About Spaceport America: Spaceport America has been providing commercial launch services since 2006. Phase One of the construction for the spaceport is expected to be complete in late 2011. Phase Two of the construction and pre-operations activities will follow, including the development of a world-class Visitors Experience for students, tourists and space launch customers. Spaceport America will delight and inspire guests in a way that only a commercial space-launch facility can do.
The State of New Mexico entered into a 20-year lease agreement with Virgin Galactic, Spaceport America’s anchor tenant. Virgin Galactic is currently developing the world’s first commercial passenger-carrying space vehicle fleet, including the WhiteKnightTwo mother ship and SpaceShipTwo launch vehicle.
Officials at Spaceport America have been working closely with entrepreneurial space leaders like Virgin Galactic, UP Aerospace, and Armadillo Aerospace, as well as established aerospace firms like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Moog-FTS to develop commercial spaceflight at the new facility. The economic impact of launches, tourism and new construction at Spaceport America are already delivering on the promise of economic development to the people of New Mexico.
Chick HERE to learn more about the project, including renderings.