Virgin Galactic announced on Thursday that it had decided to build its upcoming generation of rocket ships in the Mesa neighborhood of Phoenix.
It is located adjacent to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, enabling completed spaceplanes to be transported by air to Spaceport America in New Mexico.
The facility will be capable of producing up to six spaceships per year and bring hundreds of aerospace engineering and manufacturing jobs to Mesa.
Michael Colglazier, chief executive of Virgin Galactic said, “Our spaceship final assembly factory is key to accelerating the production of our Delta fleet, enabling a rapid increase in flight capacity that will drive our revenue growth.”
He also added, “We’re thrilled to expand into the greater Phoenix area, which is home to outstanding aerospace talent, and we look forward to growing our team and fleet at our new facility.”The facility is scheduled to be fully operational by late 2023. The first of those spaceplanes will start flying private astronauts in 2026, the company projects.