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
FROM THE DIRECTOR
In the wake of the tragic loss of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, we are reprioritizing some of our work. From preparing for imminent VG launch operations—they were to begin the move in December—to ramping up our ongoing efforts to attract new business. I emphasize “ramping up” because we have never stopped doing this. From the very beginning, while having an anchor tenant like Virgin Galactic that over the course of our 20 year agreement may likely yield well over $200M in revenue to the state, we realized that this needed to be complemented by other business so we would not be building upon a single point failure foundation. While still constructing the spaceport, we have conducted 21 launches, signed up another fabulous tenant, SpaceX, and conducted numerous photo-shoots and special events yielding several hundred thousand dollars in revenue—this is still not enough. We continue to turn our attention to further diversification of business lines that take full advantage of the spaceport’s and community’s many assets. We are in the process of updating our business plan, to be published in January 2015. You will see some new and exciting business lines that we will be vigorously pursuing with the help of many of our state and local economic development partners. In a perfect example of this, you will see below an announcement of our new official Spaceport America merchandise store. So stay tuned. Our last business plan, published in January 2013, can be downloaded from our website.
The coming months will be challenging but also rewarding. We must maintain our resolve, purpose and resiliency as we continue on this incredible journey. We appreciate your help and constructive suggestions.
Christine Anderson, Executive Director
New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA)
SPACEPORT MERCHANDISE NOW AVAILABLE
Spaceport America merchandise is now available on our website! Go to the “Shop” button on our website or visit shop.spaceportamerica.
TECHNICAL OPERATIONS UPDATE
Analysis of the trajectory from the October 23 UP Aerospace SL-9 launch at Spaceport America was completed. Final analysis of the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) radar track data indicates that the maximum altitude reached by the rocket was 408,035 feet (77.28 miles). This is slightly higher than the immediate post-launch estimate of 407,862 feet (77.25 miles). UPA has assembled a very nice video montage from the backward-looking on-board camera. This video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/
Spaceport America congratulates UP Aerospace (UPA) on the successful execution of its SL-9 mission, its ninth launch at the spaceport. UPA is a great company and a valued spaceport customer.
Construction on the main access control security station continues on schedule. The new station replaces the existing temporary trailer. Highland Construction from Las Cruces is the contractor.
The additional access road to the spaceport from the south is progressing. The BLM has all the needed data and is reviewing it to make an environmental determination sometime in February. In the meantime, Doña Ana County road engineers are preparing the construction RFP. Their schedule indicates a release date in the spring 2015. The $14.5M funding for this project for county road improvement comes from the state through the New Mexico Spaceport Authority. Completion of this road is critical to the success of the spaceport. Contact the Doña Ana County Manager for further updates on the RFP and construction status.
In an effort to continue to provide effective general service support to maintain the spaceport for our current and future customers at affordable costs, we have converted a few more services from contractor support to staff support for electrical, plumbing and environmental controls. The new spaceport hires are from the local communities of Las Cruces and Williamsburg. This conversion will not only allow the spaceport to provide more support but at a lower cost.
MEDIA COVERAGE AND OUTREACH
November has been a busy month of media interviews, guest editorials, legislative testimony and outreach.
On October 20, at the request of the New Mexico Finance Authority Oversight Legislative Committee to provide testimony for “The Past, Present and Future of Spaceport America,” we provided 6 hours of testimony—approximately 150 slides and two videos. It was broad and it was deep. It included staffing, budgets, projects and plans starting from day one of the spaceport. The presentation is posted on the NMFA Oversight Committee’s website. After the Virgin Galactic accident on October 31, the NMFA Oversight Committee asked us to provide an update to the Committee. On November 20, I provided testimony regarding what had changed between Oct 20 and November 20. Obviously the change was the VG accident and associated delay to begin operation at the spaceport. The testimony focused on the probable need for a special appropriation to be used only if needed through June 2016.
In the first week of November, CNN featured Spaceport America in their Science & Technology feature story on the future of travel: A runway to space in a U.S. desert Take a trip to space in ...
November media interviews included: Albuquerque Journal, the Sun-News, and Associated Press, KVIA (ABC) El Paso, KOAT (ABC) Albuquerque, KFOX (FOX) El Paso, KRQE (CBS) Albuquerque, and Sierra County Sentinel.
I also authored a Guest Editorial addressing the spaceport’s new business efforts that was published by the Albuquerque Journal, the Las Cruces Sun-News, the Silver City Sun-News and the Sierra County Sentinel.
I also had the pleasure of briefing the National Lieutenant Governors Association Meeting on December 3 hosted by New Mexico Lt. Governor John Sanchez. The Lt. Governors were very interested in learning more about the commercial space industry.
The AAA Magazine Arizona Highroads toured the spaceport in November and will have a feature story on the Spaceport America’s weekly public tours, which have grown this year giving thousands of new visitors the ability to tour the spaceport.