Photo: Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic says it has made no investment in a former U.S. Navy base in eastern Puerto Rico, denying a press account that it was planning to build a spaceport on the island.
“FYI: There is no truth to reports about us buying land or renting hangars in Puerto Rico (though we’re sure it’s lovely there),” Virgin Galactic said on its official Twitter account.
Caribbean Business reported last week that the owner of Virgin Galactic, British billionaire Richard Branson, had acquired 11 hangars at the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station in Ceiba, Puerto Rico.
Built in 1944 at the town of Ceiba, the base was used by the U.S. Navy from 1957 to 2003. At present the land is occupied by a small airport for flights connecting with two small nearby islands, Culebra and Vieques, which also belong to Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico’s secretary of Economic Development and Trade, Alberto Baco Bague, denied to Efe last Friday that any deal had been closed with Virgin Galactic.
The island’s status as a U.S. commonwealth and its location not far from the equator make it atractive for private companies interested in space ventures.
Several years ago the Caribbean Astronomical Society announced that Space X, another aerospace company, had shown interest in establishing operations in eastern Puerto Rico.