London, Oct 23 (ANI): Commercial space travel moved a step closer with the unveiling of a runway at the world's first spaceport in New Mexico.
The event was marked with a flypast of an aircraft carrying SpaceShip Two.
The vehicle has been developed to take fee-paying tourists on trips to the edge of space and back.
British billionaire Sir Richard Branson-whose Virgin group has backed the venture-said the first passenger trip should take place within 18 months.
The opening of the nearly two-mile (three-kilometre) runway comes less than two weeks after another major step for Sir Richard's Virgin Galactic company: the first solo glide flight of SpaceShip Two.
"Today is very personal as our dream becomes more real," the BBC quoted Richard as saying.
"People are beginning to believe now. I think the drop flight two weeks ago, which went beautifully, I think it made people sit up and realize this is really reality," he said.
More than 300 people have already paid at least 200,000 dollars each for a three-hour flight. (ANI)