Spaceport America Facility – Operations Center – United States

Scope of Work

“With three openings more than 100 feet wide, its elliptical shape and low profile, this dome makes a wonderful fit for the desert landscape and the first ever spaceport.” -Daren Wheeler, Project Administrator, Dome Technology

About Spaceport America

Spaceport America is the culmination of efforts made by space-minded residents from New Mexico to create the world’s first FAA-approved commercial spaceport. The New Mexico Legislature established the Office for Space Commercialization in 1994, and in 2006 Spaceport America began to take form. Spaceport America’s vision is to unlock “the potential of space for everyone by offering the world an invitation to space.”

In 2008, Virgin Galactic signed a 20 year lease agreement with Spaceport America, officially beginning the journey to make commercial space travel a reality.

Challenges

(1) A modern organic design was necessary to capture the ideals of space exploration and blend with the natural environment. (2) Construction took place at a site located in a very remote area to the west of the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. (3) The design incorporated large openings and an eyebrow shell cantilevered from the main dome structure.

Solutions

(1) Dome Technology’s design team provided an open, free-span, low-profile concrete shell, clad with a tiled exterior that beautifully enhances the New Mexico Spaceport aesthetic. (2) Dome Technology’s management and construction teams executed a difficult job by working well with general contractors, the owner, and local work forces in order to produce a first-class architectural thin shell concrete dome in the middle of nowhere. (3) Dome Technology’s engineering team worked hand-in-hand with construction teams to safely build three openings that span over 100’ and a 30’ cantilevered eyebrow shell.

Takeaway

Dome Technology took on the unique challenges and executed the work with excellent solutions that met all the owner’s expectations.