updated 5/10/2011 2:33:13 PM ET 2011-05-10T18:33:13

Tours of Spaceport America in southern New Mexico will be offered to the public starting this week.

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Spaceport America is the world's first dedicated spaceport. Anchor tenant Virgin Galactic plans to use the taxpayer-funded facility to take tourists on short hops into space. Other commercial spaceflight operations are also planned.

Story: Space tourism poised to blast off in the next two years

The New Mexico Spaceport Authority announced Tuesday that it selected Albuquerque-based company Follow The Sun Inc. to conduct the preview tours.

The spaceport is expected to be fully operational later this year. The tours are aimed at giving guests an up close look at the spaceflight facilities before operations begin.

The three-hour tour will cost adults $59 and $29 for children under 12.

The first tour will be Friday and tours will be conducted each Friday, Saturday and Sunday thereafter.

Story: Space tourism poised to blast off in the next two years

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