Richard Branson’s flight sparks new optimism in New Mexico


              Guests watch as the Virgin Galactic rocket plane, with founder Richard Branson on board, takes off from Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, Sunday, July 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
            Richard Branson answers students' questions during a news conference at Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, N.M., on Sunday, July 11, 2021. Branson and five crewmates from his Virgin Galactic space tourism company reached an altitude of about 53 miles (88 kilometers) over the New Mexico desert before safely gliding back home to a runway landing at Spaceport America. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan) Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson waves to school children while heading to board the rocket plane that will fly him to space from Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, Sunday, July 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)