The NM Spaceport Authority is pleased to offer public tours of Spaceport America.
FTS Tours, Inc., the official exclusive tour provider, will take you on a 3 hour journey that includes a briefing on the emerging commercial space industry, as well as the cultural and historical background of the area surrounding the Spaceport. The onsite portion of the tour will include the horizontal launch areas including the iconic Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space Building.
Tours are on Friday, Saturday and Sundays.
Times: 9am and 1pm (9am only on Sunday)
Tour Length: 3 hours
8:45am and 12:45pm Space Place Store 710 Highway 195 Elephant Butte NM 87935
8:30am and 12:30pm Holiday Inn Express 2201 F.G Amin St, Truth or Consequences, NM
Cost: $59 for Adults 18 and over, $49 for 13 - 17 and $29 for Children 12 and under
Reservations are required and minimum of three guests per tour.
For reservations please call 1-575-740-6894 or book online at www.ftstours.com/spaceport.htm
For more information about the Spaceport, go to: http://www.spaceportamerica.com/
NEWS from Spaceport America
This has been a busy time for us. We are preparing for the grand opening of our Spaceport America Experience in June. We had a preview tour with students last month which was a big hit—see the YouTube video launching our new tourism campaignYOUR INVITATION TO SPACE.
We also hosted two student launches in April. New Mexico Tech students actually built a rocket as opposed to the normal student launches we have where students build the payloads that are then carried by a host rocket. The NM Tech rocket achieved its goals. We hope to be able to work with the University on more projects like this one.
We are also finishing up our new five year business plan that will be posted online this month. You will see a continuing trend of further diversification in business sectors and an increase in marketing. Our new Marketing Director is already having a very positive impact.
As always, let us hear from you.
Christine Anderson, CEO
Spaceport America hosted the launches of two medium size rockets during April. On April 18, an experimental rocket designed and built by the students in the Mechanical Engineering Department at New Mexico Tech was launched at 8:03 AM. The nearly ten-foot long rocket reached an altitude of 11,500 feet. The launch was part of a program at New Mexico Tech’s Mechanical Engineering Department that requires each student to participate in an intensive design team activity, a requirement for graduation from the school’s engineering program. The rocket carried instruments to document performance and carried two experimental flight computers developed by the school’s Electrical Engineering Department. The 40-pound rocket reached a top speed of approximately Mach 0.8. With the exception of the motor, essentially every element of the rocket is the work of the students who are analyzing the in-flight data to fully characterize performance and to validate their pre-flight modeling and simulation.
On April 25 we hosted the launch of a rocket carrying student payloads. The launch of the 14-foot rocket was sponsored by the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium. There were seven experiments on board built by students and teachers from the Las Cruces Public Schools, Dona Ana Community College, Hot Springs Middle School and High School, and Roswell Middle school. The launch took place in the Spaceport America Vertical Launch Area and achieved an altitude of 12,600 feet. It was conducted on behalf of Space Grant by F.L.A.R.E (the Fellowship of Las Cruces Area Rocketry Enthusiasts). Over 100 people were on the site to observe. After the launch, students were given back their experiments and used the hangar area of the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space building to inspect and retrieve data from their payloads.
Dr. Bill Gutman, the Spaceport's Aerospace Operations Director, continued with our Virtual Classroom program where we connect online with classroom students in Sierra and Doña Ana public schools. We host a question/answer session and then take the students on a virtual tour. This has been a big hit so far.
We also hosted students from Sierra County Middle School and Doña Ana County middle schools on a preview tour of the Spaceport America Experience which will officially open to the public in June. The students really seemed to enjoy the tour, particularly the G-Shock Simulator.
Some teachers are also taking advantage of our on-line lesson plans, located atwww.spaceportamerica.com/learning. These plans related to the kiosk games at the Gateway Gallery on site that students can play when they visit.
SPACEPORT AMERICA EXPERIENCE
The visitor experience is almost complete. The Spaceport America Experience has three parts. The Spaceport Visitor Center located in Truth or Consequences (T or C), the shuttle bus ride to the spaceport, and the Gateway Gallery located in the Gateway to Space building. The Gateway Gallery features a G-Shock Simulator, many interactive kiosks and displays focused on the science behind the commercial space industry. In addition, we have several displays of archaeological artifacts from the region.
The City of T or C and Follow The Sun, Inc, the tour operator, are enhancing the off-site departure location, the Spaceport Visitor Center. The Center is located in a 1935 adobe building in the historic district of T or C. The Center will feature more displays and exhibits licensed from Spaceport America.
The shuttle bus will be equipped with monitors that feature original videos showcasing the local area, the history of the region and the commercial space industry.
As noted earlier, we had a “preview” tour with students in April. The Grand Opening is planned for June when the T or C Visitor Center is complete.
We hosted several special events this past month including an automobile photo-shoot, a professional group meeting, and a new drone camera photoshoot with 3DRobotics. You can see some of their fantastic footage on YouTube.
The spaceport has vacancies for an airfield operations manager/controller, aerospace engineer and IT General Manager. Please visit our employment website for more information.
MEDIA COVERAGE AND OUTREACH
We had lots of media coverage resulting from our Spaceport America Experience preview tour on April 9 and the student launches on April 18 and April 25.
I had the pleasure of being the guest speaker at the University of New Mexico 50thAnniversary Gala Celebration of the School of Medicine’s Surgery Department where over 100 people attended. I also spoke at the Las Cruces Chamber luncheon where over 170 people attended.
We also gave several interviews this past month which resulted in new articles including an article about our new Business Plan.