In the desert of New Mexico, about 20 miles outside the small town of Truth or Consequences, the world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport is preparing to host its first flights for paying customers later this year. More than 650 tickets have already been sold by Virgin Galactic at a cost of $250,000 apiece, offering passengers a trip into sub-orbital space, where they'll experience several minutes of weightlessness. Spaceport America already has several other tenants, including SpaceX, which is testing a new reusable launch vehicle. Residents of Truth or Consequences are hopeful the spaceport will become a success, and that jobs and tourists will follow. Reuters photographer Lucy Nicholson recently traveled to the area, returning with these photos.