FROM THE DIRECTOR
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.com and check out our new Spaceport America-branded apparel, headwear, and accessories – perfect holiday gifts!
TECHNICAL OPERATIONS UPDATE
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.
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