See below for answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions on Spaceport America:
1. What is Spaceport America?
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.
2. Where is it?
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.
3. Can I drive there and how can I visit?
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 2013. 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.
4. When will it open and will it be open to the public?
Spaceport America is already open and operational. Twelve flight tests have been hosted since 2006 at the vertical launch area. The facility is currently open to the public via weekly Preview Tours.
5. Are you offering public tours?
Yes, tours are available exclusively through our provider Follow the Sun, Inc. See here for more information.
6. What is the purpose of spaceport?
To become the world’s premier commercial space launch facility providing first class service to customers and delighting and inspiring visitors.
7. Who owns Spaceport America?
Spaceport America is wholly owned by the state of New Mexico and its citizens.
8. What is NMSA?
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.
9. What is relationship between Spaceport America and NMSA?
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.
10. What is the relationship between Spaceport America and Virgin Galactic?
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.
11. How do I get a job at Spaceport America?
At present job opportunities are most readily available through our contracted partners. Please look under the Do Business menu and there you will find listed under Contractors, contact information to each of our general contractors. For operations contractors and tenant related job opportunities, please watch the Employment tab on this website.
12. How do I get an internship or co-op with Spaceport America?
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.
13. Can I watch launches? How, and when?
Spaceport America hosts public launches on a regular basis. The most prominent of these are the annual student launch project launches hosted by the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium. Details will be posted on this website in advance of any public launch and all public launches are webcast for viewing at the comfort of your home or place of business.
14. I have a flight program I’d like to bring to New Mexico. Is Spaceport America open for business? Where do I start?
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.
15. Is Spaceport America available as an event venue?
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.
16. Can I land my plane on the Spaceway now or in the future?
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.
17. Will there be commercial air service to Spaceport America?
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).
18. Can I get a representative of Spaceport America to speak at an event, a meeting or an aerospace conference?
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.
19. Where is your office located?
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.
20. What is the budget for Spaceport America?
The funding profile for Spaceport America is approximately $209 million from both State of New Mexico and local county sources. Twenty five million dollars come from State of New Mexico general fund appropriations and capital outlay. One hundred and eight million dollars come from State of New Mexico severance tax bond proceeds. Seventy six million dollars come from local gross receipts tax bond proceeds.
21. Where can I get more information?
Stay current by visiting the Spaceport America website at www.spaceportamerica.com for the latest information. Feel free to attend an open public meeting or contact the NMSA office. Press and members of the media should visit the Press Center.