Spaceport America is the world’s first purpose-built, commercial spaceport designed with the needs of the commercial, space business in mind. Unique geographic benefits, striking iconic design and the tradition of New Mexico space leadership are being leveraged to unlock the potential of space for everyone.
Spaceport America includes basic operational infrastructure such as an airfield, launch pads, terminal / hangar facility, emergency response capabilities, utilities and roadways. The site will be capable of accommodating the activities of both vertical and horizontal takeoff space launch vehicles, serving as the base for pre-flight and post-flight activities, and providing a tourism experience for interested visitors and spectators. The spaceport also presents a unique opportunity to excite students regarding space technology and the underlying science and mathematics.
Spaceport America is located just west of the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in Sierra County, New Mexico, United States of America. Approximately 55 miles north of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Spaceport America is about 30 miles southeast of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico and about 30 miles northeast of the village of Hatch, New Mexico.
The vicinity of Spaceport America is accessible by county roads from Interstate-25, however access to the spaceport site is currently restricted until the completion of public visitor facilities, expected as early as 2015. At present time the southern road into Spaceport America is unpaved and is inadvisable to attempt. In the meantime, public Preview Tours are available on a weekly basis.
For the time being, the NMSA’s offices are located at 901 E. University Ave, Suite 965L, Las Cruces, New Mexico, 88001. The building is just west of Starbucks, and our office is on the second floor. Once fit-out at the spaceport is complete, the NMSA offices will transition on-site.
Spaceport America is already open and operational. Twenty flight tests have been hosted since 2006 at the vertical launch area. The facility is currently open to the public via weekly Preview Tours.
Yes, tours are available exclusively through our provider Follow the Sun, Inc. See here for more information.
Spaceport America occasionally hosts public launches, depending on restrictions set by our launch customers. The most prominent of these are the student launch project launches hosted by the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium. Details will be posted on this website in advance of any public launches.
Spaceport America is planned to operate as a prior permission required (PPR) airport. NMSA does not intend in the near term to offer FBO-like services for general or commercial aviation. There are no current plans for this to change in the future, although you are welcome to contact NMSA for any special requests.
Yes, Spaceport America has been operational and providing launch services since 2006. Facilities and infrastructure are available to support many different missions and test objectives. To get started, please contact the NMSA Business Operations Manager.
Potentially. Spaceport America can be used as a venue for special events. For more details, please contact the NMSA Business Operations Manager to discuss the particulars of your event.
Spaceport America is wholly owned by the state of New Mexico and its citizens.
The New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) is the state agency charged with the responsibility to design, develop, construct, operate, and oversee the successful development of Spaceport America.
The NMSA is the entity building and operating Spaceport America, a branded space-launch facility. Spaceport America is built by funding provided by the State of New Mexico.
Virgin Galactic is the anchor tenant at Spaceport America, and holds a 20 year lease agreement with the NMSA on the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space facility. The company will base its worldwide operational headquarters at Spaceport America.
At present job opportunities are most readily available through our contracted partners. Please look under the About Us menu and there you will find listed under Contractors, contact information to each of our general contractors. To submit a resume to NMSA on file for potential future job opportunities, please visit the Employment page on this website.
NMSA accepts interns in both technical and non-technical disciplines on an infrequent, unpaid basis (i.e. only very highly-motivated students need apply). If you are still interested, feel free to get in touch with an NMSA representative. Our Operational Contractors may have opportunities from time to time as well. Alternatively you may contact the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium or NMSU Career Services for additional, occasional opportunities.
No. There will be no commercial airline flights directly into Spaceport America. The nearest airports with passenger service are the El Paso International Airport (ELP) and the Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ). Other nearby municipal airports includes Las Cruces (KLRU), Truth or Consequences (KTCS) and Hatch (E05).
The NMSA considers speaking requests from local community groups, school groups, and industry gatherings. Please submit your request via the Contact Us page, specifying the following event details:
- Name of the event and hosting organization
- Date and Time of the event
- Number of event attendees
- Time allotted for speaking
- Preferred topic of presentation
- Whether the event facility has a projector screen and projector
Requests will be honored as schedule permits on a limited, first-come first-served basis with a preference toward larger groups.
The funding profile for Spaceport America is approximately $212 million from both State of New Mexico and local county sources. Approximately twenty five million dollars come from State of New Mexico general fund appropriations and capital outlay. Approximately one hundred and eight million dollars come from State of New Mexico severance tax bond proceeds. Approximately seventy six million dollars come from local gross receipts tax bond proceeds.
Host Events FAQs
Rental prices are quoted upon request and based on total number of locations used for the event, as well as the degree of privacy and/or exclusivity desired. Additionally, in-house production costs, such as security, set-up and breakdown crews, and other support functions are itemized for each event and include all labor and equipment necessary to make your special occasion a success.
Contact the New Mexico Spaceport Authority at +1-575-373-6110 or via the Contact Us form to inquire about availability. Event dates are reserved upon receipt of a signed event contract.
Depending on the event, a 25% deposit of the total fee may be required. Deposits are non-
Spaceport America Protective Services support is required for each on-site event. Supplementary VIP security can be arranged depending upon requirements for an additional fee. Any external security services participating in on-site events must be approved in advance by the New Mexico Spaceport Authority.
Spaceport America is a “prior permission required” airport, and the New Mexico Spaceport Authority can grant permission for aircraft to land on the Spaceway as part of an event. The private airfield is unlit and untowered, but UNICOM-like services, AWOS data, and other airfield services and equipment, such as jet-refueling service, are available. Contact us for further instructions and landing fee information at +1-575-373-6110 or via the Contact Us form.
Rental fees are based on either a half-day or full-day event rate, with no starting/ending time restrictions. Half-day events will be considered full-day events and incur overtime charges after four hours. Multi-day event discounts are available. Event set up and breakdown can occur up to two days in advance of the event and on the day after. Additional days for set up and breakdown may incur additional fees.
Follow the Sun, Inc. is currently the exclusive Tour Operator for Spaceport America. They can facilitate luxury coach transportation, guided tours, step-on guides, and catering upon request. From time to time, there may be other exclusive vendors providing specific services, which Spaceport America will communicate to interested parties upon initial inquiry. Outside production firms, photographers, caterers, etc. are welcome.
Insurance is required for each event. Specific insurance requirements are listed in the special event contract.
Smoking is not permitted within any building. Smoking is only permitted in designated outdoor locations due to local fire restrictions. Individuals not observing these fire regulations will be asked to leave the event and the premises.
Limited on-site parking is available for events. However, most events incorporate coach transportation for guests from off-site pickup/staging areas to maximize coordination and convenience.
The operations staff will determine the number of events that may occur simultaneously based on each event’s requirements and will ensure that if multiple events are occurring at the same time, they will not disrupt or disturb one another.
Tents are permitted in any outdoor area, subject to approval by the New Mexico Spaceport Authority. Only licensed tenting or event production companies are allowed to set up temporary structures on the premises.
Banners and signs are permitted for your event, subject to approval by the New Mexico Spaceport Authority. Any existing site signage, if modified, must be restored to original condition following the event. All event signage and décor must be removed following the event.