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Branson and US officials dedicate space terminal

Matt York / AP

British billionaire Sir Richard Branson drinks champagne after rapelling down the side of the new Spaceport America hangar Monday, Oct. 17 in Upham, N.M. Branson dedicated the newly completed terminal and hangar on Monday, where his Virgin Galactic will stage its commercial space tourism venture.

Matt Rivera / msnbc.com

Hundreds of visitors take their seats inside the cavernous spaceship hangar at Spaceport America in New Mexico.

It's hard not to like Richard Branson's style.

AP reports:

UPHAM, New Mexico — With his usual flare, British billionaire Richard Branson rappelled from a balcony, shook up a big bottle of champagne and took a swig while christening the world's first built-from-scratch commercial spaceport on Monday.

    Branson's Virgin Galactic will stage its commercial space tourism venture from Spaceport America in a remote patch of desert in southern New Mexico.

    Related:

    msnbc.com science editor Alan Boyle's Weblog: After six years of construction, Spaceport America gets its official unveiling with a splash of champagne in a New Mexico desert setting.