New Mexico's Spaceport America. Credit: Spaceport America

New Mexico’s Spaceport America.
Credit: Spaceport America

A lawmaker in the Land of Enchantment is disenchanted with the state’s Spaceport America.

For one, the complex would be home for the commercial operations of Virgin Galactic’s suborbital space tourism business.

A Senate bill to sell New Mexico’s Spaceport America facility moved on to the Senate Finance (SFC) with a bipartisan no-recommendation last Thursday.

After a brief debate, the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee (SCORC) voted to move along Senate Bill 267 (SB267), “Sale of Spaceport America,” sponsored by Senator George K. Muñoz (D-4-Cibola, McKinley & San Juan).

A hearing date in the SFC has not yet been scheduled.

The Senate bill can be found here at:

http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/legislation.aspx?Chamber=S&LegType=B&LegNo=267&year=15

Empty facility

According to Senator Muñoz, among a number of complaints: “There was a lot of hoopla before that if ‘we build it…they will come,’ but it has been several years now and nobody’s shown up yet. New Mexican taxpayers are continuing to foot the bill for a $250 million empty facility that is providing the Legislature shaky operational information at best.”

In response, Christine Anderson, New Mexico Spaceport Authority’s Executive Director, said:

“I think some legislators are impatient to have the commercial space industry literally take off! As others have said, space is hard and taking commercial passengers to space requires a great deal of due diligence.”

Credit: Spaceport America

Credit: Spaceport America

End game

Anderson is responsible for the development and operation of the world’s first purpose-built, commercial spaceport, Spaceport America.

“In the end, the spaceport is doing fine,” Anderson said, as “it generated just over $1.6 million in income last year, and everyone needs to not lose sight of the end game,” she said.

“The sentiment to ‘sell the spaceport’ is not widely embraced,” Anderson said. There were many who spoke against the bill, she said.

BTW: Check out my good friend, Bob Martin’s TV report – a reporter for KRQE News 13 in Albuquerque – regarding the recent “fly-in” at Spaceport America:

Go to:

http://krqe.com/2015/02/14/pilots-passengers-get-special-spaceport-tour-at-fly-in/

Also, check out the Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board’s view of the topic:

http://www.abqjournal.com/544492/opinion/hold-the-countdown-on-sale-of-spaceport.html

 

 

 

4 Responses to “For Sale Sign? – New Mexico’s Spaceport America”

  • Alta says:

    Hey! Why don’t they start using the Spaceport for other ventures while the real adventure matures? It’d make a great concert venue. Watch out Woodstock, Spaceport is coming!

  • Sheila David says:

    Oh dear, I hope they don’t do this!

  • Le Roy Henderson says:

    Christine Anderson is a master of illusion! When Governor Richardson’s administration was first selling this boondoggle, the people were told the commercial space industry was “just going to take off”! Big promises and even bigger claims of potential economic growth. Based on that, the tax payers and the Legislature bought in. Actually only two counties in the entire state bought into it! Every county was expected to just jump in with both feet and eyes closed when the Regional Spaceport Act was passed. When it came time for each county or any municipality to approve their own spaceport district, only three counties even brought it to the voters! Otero defeated it, Dona Ana barely passed it and Sierra passed it by a two to one margin. In Sierra, Richardson gave $60,000 to buy the election, and our “leaders” are not very smart in Sierra County!
    The $paceport is not fine, and at the rate of $1M/year in /year will pay back the income, it will take 100 years just to back the $100M we borrowed! And if we get the fees Anderson claims, that $1.4M/year will pay back the other $130M we took out of severance tax money! And that claim that SpaceX has spent $2M on improvements to the launch facility and that the $paceport is the “home” of the Falcon 9R, are false. I looked, and I checked! One other thing here: Why is it that the NMSA, the Governor, and proponents of the $paceport have put a gag on anybody who questions or criticizes the whole project, and will not allow publication of the research and opposition? What do they have to hide? There are many more questions about the $paceport and there is much more information that is kept from the public!

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