Spaceport America Newsletter – April 2014

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FROM THE DIRECTOR
March was another busy month for us. We are preparing to bring onboard more firefighters and IT personnel as we ramp up operations. We will also be releasing a request for proposals (RFP) for the construction of a new spaceport front entrance and guard station to replace our temporary trailer. Lastly, Doña Ana County is planning to release the long awaited RFP for the southern road improvements in early May. We are really looking forward to the road being completed as soon as possible.

We hope these newsletters are helpful in keeping you up to date on Spaceport activities. Feel free to send questions or comments to us via our website (http://spaceportamerica.com/).

Chris

Christine Anderson, Executive Director
New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA)

TECHNICAL OPERATIONS UPDATE
Spaceport America continues to make preparations for upcoming launch operations of SpaceX and Virgin Galactic. The SpaceX Falcon 9R rocket will be the largest ever to fly from Spaceport America. As the launch complex nears completion, the technical team is reviewing and refining preparation and launch day plans and procedures. We are also assisting with site readiness. Items include refining the formal Range Operations Plan and ensuring that the spaceport is in compliance with New Mexico open burning regulations. We have added several fire prevention measures such as a vegetation-free buffer and fire breaks around the edges of the launch and landing pads.

With respect to Virgin Galactic, the technical team has been refining the Airfield Operations Plan. Recently, the three-party Letter of Agreement (Virgin Galactic-FAA Albuquerque Center-Spaceport America) that is required by the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation was finalized.

CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATIONS UPDATE
A new Program Manager for Protective Services at Spaceport America was recently hired by our support contractor, Fiore Industries. Congratulations to Don Scott who comes to us from the Department of Homeland Security for the State of New Mexico.

Virgin Galactic has started its fit out construction activities for the Gateway facility at Spaceport America.

Doña Ana County is planning to release the RFP for the southern access road construction in early May.

NMSA will be releasing an RFP shortly for the construction of a new spaceport front entrance and security station, replacing the existing temporary trailer.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (it’s all about jobs!)
NMSA has moved into the Gap Analysis portion of its Economic Development initiative, after gathering requirements from its tenant and user base. This phase will identify gaps in required services from existing regionally available services and includes short-term and long-term planning to meet identified requirements. Short term options include importing the services and attracting expansion of new businesses to relocate to the state, while long term options revolve around growing the capability to meet the requirement locally via the educational pipeline and existing business enhancement. Once the Gap Analysis is complete, NMSA will be able to select the highest priority opportunities and develop implementation plans in conjunction with regional stakeholders. More to come on this, so stay tuned!

Follow the Sun Tours (http://ftstours.com) that operates tours to the spaceport on the weekends has opened an office in Sierra County and has hired two additional employees from Sierra County and is still in recruitment mode. Contact them if you are interested.

Currently, NMSA has 20 personnel working full time at the spaceport site and 9 personnel working off site. The majority are residents of Sierra and Doña Ana Counties. NMSA is also planning to hire additional staff in the General Support Services and IT areas in early summer. The spaceport’s Protective Service contractor, Fiore Industries, is also hiring eight additional spaceport firefighters (http://www.fiore-ind.com/home/16-careers/39-firefighter-guard.html) . NMSA also relies on a variety of additional personnel working part time.

Virgin Galactic recently held a supplier seminar in Sierra County providing a list of needed services. Check out the City of T or C website (http://www.torcnm.org) for additional information.

MEDIA COVERAGE
A feature story on the spaceport’s futuristic new buildings appeared in a recent issue of The Architect’s Newspaper. The caption next to the picture of the Gateway building was particularly exciting, “Boldly Go!”

In addition, the Gateway is receiving an American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Honors Award at the ACEC 2014 Engineering Excellence Awards Ceremony in Washington DC at the end of April. Congratulations to URS and its team, NMSA’s architectural contractor for the Gateway building.

Christine Anderson did a major sit down interview with NBC Science Correspondent Alan Boyle. We look forward to seeing Alan’s story profiling Spaceport America and its tenants, SpaceX and Virgin Galactic.

Anderson also had the honor of delivering the keynote speech at the UNM Anderson School of Management annual awards banquet. The theme was “lift-off” and the speech focused on just that! Over 650 people attended.

NMSA gave a presentation to the southern New Mexico Lockheed Martin group and provided site tours to the New Mexico Economic Partnership and the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

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Copyright © 2014 Spaceport America, All rights reserved.

Spaceport America Newsletter – March 2014

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FROM THE DIRECTOR
Happy Spring! The trees are starting to bloom in southern New Mexico. We are continuing our all-hands training in anticipation of increased flight activity shortly. We are revamping our Visitor Experience (see below) and working with the county to begin construction on the long awaited southern access road to the Spaceport, now that the legislature has provided additional funding. Late breaking news, we were just informed that the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space building was awarded the 2014 Jeff Harnar Contemporary Architecture Award. Congratulations to SMPC Architects of Albuquerque and the entire design team.

We hope these newsletters are helpful in keeping you up to date on Spaceport activities. Feel free to send questions or comments to us via our website (http://spaceportamerica.com/).

Chris

Christine Anderson, Executive Director
New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA)

TECHNICAL OPERATIONS UPDATE
The technical team continued to work with the US Army White Sands Missile Range and the FAA Albuquerque Center on airspace procedures that will guide routine space flight operations.

The team also participated in more table top drills to better prepare for all contingencies and is continuing to work with launch customers to facilitate future flight activity.

CONSTRUCTION AND PRE-OPERATIONS UPDATE
We are preparing to release a request for proposals for the new entrance and guard station replacing our temporary trailers. Watch for that announcement on our website. We are also planning an entrance round-about that will feature art work provided through the New Mexico Art in Public Places program that will greet visitors as they arrive.

SpaceX continues to perform site infrastructure development for the Falcon 9R launch program. Virgin Galactic is working on the interior fit-out of the Gateway building.

The Spaceport Southern Access Road design is undergoing the final revisions by Doña Ana County in coordination with Sierra County. This road is an essential route to the spaceport from southern locations like Las Cruces or El Paso. NMSA continues to hold $8.1M for the first phase of the road construction. The New Mexico legislature approved in this session an additional $6.4M. Doña Ana County is planning to release the request for proposals shortly once final approval is provided by the BLM and State Land Office.

VISITOR EXPERIENCE
The revamped plan for the Visitor Experience is to distribute all show content between the Truth or Consequences Visitor Center and the 4000 square feet public gallery area in the Gateway to Space building. The larger on-site visitor complex will have to wait until we have earned the revenue to build it – one of those future spaceport improvement projects. Visitors will still be able to enjoy all the planned activities, just in a smaller area.

MEDIA COVERAGE
The month of February featured a lot of media coverage for Spaceport America due to the New Mexico Legislative session. Christine Anderson gave several interviews with multiple media outlets including a Santa Fe radio station (KSFR-FM), the Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque Business First and the Las Cruces Sun-News.

The spaceport recently hosted media tours for Swedish Daily News, Svenska Dagblade, and the Dutch newspaper, de Volkskrant. USA TODAY had a nice write-up in February on the Spaceport America Preview Tours by Follow the Sun. The spaceport tour will also be featured on the Albuquerque KASA TV morning travel segment soon. A feature story on the spaceport’s futuristic looking architecture will be appearing in an upcoming issue of The Architect’s Newspaper.

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Copyright © 2014 Spaceport America, All rights reserved.

Spaceport America Newsletter – February 2014

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FROM THE DIRECTOR
Lots of activity has happened at Spaceport America this month: construction is winding down and scenario-based drills and pre-operational exercises are on the increase. The New Mexico legislative 30-day session is in full swing. See below for more information.

We hope these newsletters are helpful in keeping you up to date on Spaceport activities. Feel free to send questions or comments to us via our website (http://spaceportamerica.com/).

Chris

Christine Anderson, Executive Director
New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA)

TECHNICAL OPERATIONS UPDATE
The technical team was focused primarily on preparation for upcoming missions. Operational procedures are under development to optimize efficiency and provide situational awareness during missions conducted by SpaceX and Virgin Galactic. In addition, the team provided technical information to several potential new customers.

CONSTRUCTION AND PRE-OPERATIONS UPDATE
SpaceX continues to perform site infrastructure development for its Falcon 9R launch program. Current facilities include the state-owned Launch Complex 2, additional launch pads, fuel storage pads, equipment storage buildings, and mission control trailers.

NMSA staff and support contractors are continuing to perform scenario based table top exercises using FEMA guidelines.

Fit-out of the Spaceport Operations Center (SOC) has been completed by Las Cruces based R-Con. The facility is now housing some NMSA staff and on-site support contractors.

The Spaceport Southern Access Road is undergoing the final design revisions by Doña Ana County before releasing the construction RFP this month. This road is an essential route to the spaceport from southern locations like Las Cruces or El Paso. NMSA continues to hold $8.1M for the first phase of the road construction. The second phase is subject to legislative appropriation during this year’s session. The first phase will build concrete culverts, raise the road in certain areas, straighten the road in certain areas, fence both sides of the road, add cattle guards and gates, and address archaeological mitigation.

VISITOR EXPERIENCE
NMSA is considering multiple options to expedite the Visitor Experience project in the near term, and is currently pursuing a lower cost on-site hangar concept to house guest show and activities, much like the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center and the Dayton Air Museum. The full on-site visitor center would be developed later with earned revenue from the visitor experience and then the hangar would serve a spaceport tenant. NMSA is still pursuing a smaller loan for the T or C Welcome Center.

MEDIA COVERAGE
Christine Anderson did several interviews this month with Santa Fe KSFR radio, the Albuquerque Journal, the Las Cruces Sun-News, Albuquerque Business First, KDBC 4 TV El Paso, New Space Journal, and NewSpace Global. These interviews covered a range of topics from bills introduced in the current session of the New Mexico Legislature that involve Spaceport America, to the renewal of the spaceport’s FAA Launch Site Operator License.

In addition to the wide range of New Mexico media coverage, Spaceport America was mentioned in a recent issue of Popular Mechanics Magazine, SPACE.COM, CNET.COM, and ParabolicArc.com.

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Copyright © 2014 Spaceport America, All rights reserved.

Spaceport America Newsletter – January 2014

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FROM THE DIRECTOR
Happy New Year! I believe 2014 will be a great year at Spaceport America. Our tenants, Virgin Galactic and SpaceX, are ramping up for exciting accomplishments. We also expect several more launches this year with other customers.

The FAA granted another five year Launch License to Spaceport America. This is a very important milestone. The licensing process is extremely rigorous and we are pleased that we made the grade!

We also received several awards in December. You can read about them in this issue of the newsletter.

We hope these newsletters are helpful in keeping you up to date on Spaceport activities. Feel free to send questions or comments to us via our website (http://spaceportamerica.com/) .

Chris

Christine Anderson, Executive Director
New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA)

TECHNICAL OPERATIONS UPDATE
We were informed by the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA AST) in December that our application for a five-year renewal of our Launch Site Operator License was approved. The license is valid through December 9, 2018. In conjunction with the license itself, a new License Order was also issued. This order enables us to host the launch of any vehicle for which a Launch License from Spaceport America is granted by FAA AST. It applies to both vertical and horizontal launch operations. The application package updated the technical information and analysis for customers who are currently conducting launch operations as well as for those whose operations have not yet started.

CONSTRUCTION AND PRE-OPERATIONS UPDATE
2013 NAIOP Award for Excellence Winner
Spaceport America was the recipient of two architectural awards, both for the Gateway to Space building. The first award was presented at the NAIOP Annual Eagle Awards luncheon in Albuquerque. The award for Industrial Building Excellence was presented by Governor Susana Martinez. Christine Anderson accepted the award on behalf of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority and the contractors who contributed so much to the beautiful facility.

The second award was from the American Institute of Architects. The award was given to the architectural team of the Gateway to Space building. David Hassard of SMPC Architects in Albuquerque, the architect of record, accepted the award.

NMSA conducted an on-site exercise with staff and contractors in December. We expect this to be a monthly occurrence as we ready for an increased operations tempo at the spaceport in 2014.

MEDIA COVERAGE
Spaceport America enjoyed tremendous media coverage in 2013 including state, national and international coverage. Coverage ranged from broadcast news organizations like Russian RTV, French FT1, Taiwanese SETV, UK BBC, Canadian Global, and FOX NEWS Channel Television, to print and Internet media like New York Magazine, Wired, Popular Mechanics, New Mexico Magazine, Santa Fe New Mexican, SPACE.COM and SPACENEWS.COM. Over 100 different news organizations reported on Spaceport America in 2013. New Mexico Spaceport Authority Executive Director Christine Anderson gave over 50 interviews to the press this year, and the spaceport hosted over 30 news organizations on spaceport group media tours in 2013.

In December, Christine Anderson did a taping for a segment of Albuquerque Business Law on The Radio show. She also gave an interview to the Santa Fe New Mexican Magazine. In addition she wrote a Guest Editorial (http://spaceportamerica.com/press-release/the-vision-becomes-reality-guest-editorial/) that was published in the Albuquerque Journal and the Las Cruces Sun-News.

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Copyright © 2014 Spaceport America, All rights reserved.

Spaceport America Newsletter – December 2013

FROM THE DIRECTOR
Spaceport America’s 20th launch occurred on November 12. The launch was sponsored by NASA and allowed six payload developers the opportunity to fly their technologies.

NMSA’s Annual FAA Consulting Parties Meeting took place November 5. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the current status of cultural mitigation at the spaceport. We have 44 archeological sites on the main campus of the spaceport—some dating back 10,000 years. Compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is critical to keeping the spaceport’s FAA License.

I also provided spaceport budget and status testimony to NM Legislative Committees in preparation for the Legislative Session in January.

We hope these newsletters are helpful in keeping you up to date on Spaceport activities. Feel free to send questions or comments to us via our website (http://spaceportamerica.com/) .

Chris

Christine Anderson, Executive Director
New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA)

TECHNICAL OPERATIONS UPDATE
On November 12, Spaceport America hosted its 20^th launch, which also was the eighth UP Aerospace SpaceLoft XL launch. This launch had been delayed from October as a result of the Federal government shutdown. The launch took place at 9:15 AM and was sponsored by the NASA Flight Opportunities Program. On board were six major payloads developed by the Department of Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration, SatWest LLC of Albuquerque, New Mexico State University, the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Spain). Experiments conducted in these payloads have applications in areas such as non-radar tracking of space vehicles, space vehicle tank gas and liquid interaction in microgravity, control systems in microgravity, and satellite communication networks in fast moving, high altitude platforms. As planned, the payload section of the rocket was recovered gently by parachute on the US Army White Sands Missile Range, and
most payloads were returned to their owners at the spaceport approximately two hours after launch. The rocket reached an altitude of 72 miles and landed approximately 23 miles downrange. From launch to touchdown, the mission duration was slightly less than fifteen minutes.

CONSTRUCTION AND PRE-OPERATIONS UPDATE
NMSA is continuing to perform training and emergency drills at the Spaceport. NMSA is also working closely with SpaceX to ensure its move to the spaceport goes smoothly. The spaceport southern access road RFP is now scheduled for release in early January, pending final agreement on the design by Doña Ana County and Sierra County Managers.

VISITOR EXPERIENCE
Production on show content elements, such as media voiceovers, interpretive graphics and interactive games continues.

Behind-the-scenes Spaceport America website upgrades are now complete with a roll out scheduled by mid-December. The website is being streamlined to be more customer-friendly. It is also being refocused for a larger variety of spaceport customers in the areas of launch, events and tourism. The jobs section is also being improved to help prevent robot-spam entries.

MEDIA COVERAGE
The Albuquerque Journal, Socorro El Defensor Chieftain, Santa Fe New Mexican, Sierra County Sentinel and Las Cruces Bulletin newspapers were in attendance at the spaceport’s 20^th launch. The media attendees were given an inaugural media tour of the interior of the Spaceport Operations Center which has just been completed.

We also hosted representatives from the national travel website “RoadTrippers.com” who are creating a special video on the spaceport for their travel site that will come out in the first quarter of next year.

NMSA had the pleasure of providing presentations to the Las Cruces AARP Chapter, the Deming Rotary Club and the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce.

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Copyright © 2013 Spaceport America, All rights reserved.

Spaceport America Newsletter – November 2013

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FROM THE DIRECTOR
The Federal Government shutdown caused us to postpone the October UP Aerospace Launch. The new date is November 12. This month has been filled with New Mexico legislature budget hearings leading up to the session in January. On that note, I always have to make my best estimates one year before the fiscal year begins. For example, I have to estimate when some of our tenants will start full operation. With such a dynamic program in an emerging industry, my estimates should be viewed as just that. I would hope everyone would take that it to consideration when further disseminating this information.

We hope these newsletters are helpful in keeping you up to date on Spaceport activities. Feel free to send questions or comments to us via our website (http://spaceportamerica.com/) .

Chris

Christine Anderson, Executive Director
New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA)

TECHNICAL OPERATIONS UPDATE
UP Aerospace’s SL-8 launch, which had been scheduled for October 9, was postponed due to the Federal Government shutdown. UPA launches require issuance of a Temporary Flight Restriction by the FAA Albuquerque Center and participation by a representative of the FAA Office of Commercial Space. Also, UPA’s rockets land within White Sands Missile Range. WSMR personnel must clear the impact area and operate radar for tracking. None of these requirements could be satisfied with the shutdown in effect. In addition, the mission is sponsored by NASA under the Flight Opportunities Program. Although NASA had foreseen the possibility of a shutdown and developed a process by which the launch could proceed without their direct involvement, it would not have been the ideal situation. For all these reasons, the launch was postponed. On the same day that Federal employees returned to work, Spaceport technical staff members initiated rescheduling of the launch. It is now set for November 12.
This will be the 20^th vertical launch at Spaceport America.

CONSTRUCTION AND PRE-OPERATIONS UPDATE
Our pumper truck was delivered. We now have a full complement of fire and EMT vehicles.

Dona Ana County plans to release the RFP for Phase 1 of the Southern Access road to the spaceport at the end of November. Phase 1 of the road construction will consist of elevating the road at certain locations, building two concrete box culverts at the Rincon and Yost Draws, straightening the road in a few places, installing fencing and cattle guards along both sides of the road, mitigating archaeological sites and accommodating the pre-existing CenturyLink cable. This road is extremely important to the success of the spaceport.

VISITOR EXPERIENCE
Work began during the month of October to improve the speed and responsiveness of the Spaceport America website, as well as the content and functionality of the site. You should begin to see some positive changes during the month of November.

NMSA has started the process to be able to offer officially licensed Spaceport America branded products. These will be available to consumers worldwide soon via our website, and eventually, in the Visitor Experience gift shop.

MEDIA COVERAGE
In October, NBC and Virgin Galactic announced plans for a new reality TV show called “Space Race”. According to an NBC press release, the producers of hit shows like “Survivor”, “The Apprentice” and “the Voice” will be boldly going where no reality TV show has ever gone before – to space! Through an on-air competition, someone competing on “Space Race” will win a trip to space on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. Portions of the reality show will take place at Spaceport America.

The senior travel editor from “The Mail,” a major UK newspaper, toured Spaceport America, and wrote a feature story on the spaceport as a travel destination.

We also did a large number of interviews in October with Motley Fool newsletter, Buzz Feed, Santa Fe New Mexican, Capitol Report/ NM Watchdog, KKOB radio, KRQE/KASA TV, KOAT TV, the Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque Business First, the Associated Press and “Let’s Talk Las Cruces” radio show.

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Spaceport America Newsletter – October 2013

FROM THE DIRECTOR
Virgin Galactic hosted an event in Mojave to update their future passengers on Virgin progress. I had the opportunity to attend and although we coordinate often, I found the event to be very informative. We had an opportunity to hear from all the VG teams that are working hard to make this venture a big success. Virgin is making great progress on the path to commercial flights from Spaceport America. We are prepared and looking forward to it. Virgin Galactic: The Hour is Nigh For Tourists in Space (http://science.time.com/2013/09/25/virgin-galactic-the-hour-is-nigh-for-tourists-in-space/)

We are also getting ready for our next vertical launch October 9 at Spaceport America. This will be our twentieth launch! UP Aerospace will be flying NASA Flight Opportunity payloads from NASA, DOD, FAA and students. We are also entering the New Mexico legislative hearing cycle, so lots of focus on that as well this month.

We hope these newsletters are helpful in keeping you up to date on Spaceport activities. Feel free to send questions or comments to us via our website (http://spaceportamerica.com/) .

Chris

Christine Anderson, Executive Director
New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA)

TECHNICAL OPERATIONS UPDATE
Preparatory work for the next UP Aerospace SpaceLoft-XL launch, mission SL-8, continued. Major activities involved coordination with White Sands Missile Range and the Federal Aviation Administration Albuquerque Air Route Traffic Control Center. An important milestone was the Mission Readiness Review which covered the state of readiness of the payloads as well as the mission support elements. The upcoming mission will be UP’s second launch under the NASA Flight Opportunity Program.

In an ongoing effort to better characterize Spaceport America land resources, the technical staff has started to accumulate data on land characteristics in and near the spaceport. Items of interest include slope, vegetation cover, soil type, and soil compaction. The goal is to develop a better understanding of the land to inform siting decisions for future activities, and to better understand how water might flow and accumulate during heavy rain events such as that which recently occurred in Sierra County. Staff members have begun making soil compaction measurements using an instrument called a dual-mass dynamic cone penetrometer.

CONSTRUCTION AND PRE-OPERATIONS UPDATE
The interior fit-out for the Spaceport Operations Center, our new headquarters, is nearing completion. The furniture has started arriving. We are cleaning up from the unusually heavy rains that hit New Mexico. Several interior roads were washed out. We are repairing them as quickly as possible.

We are also continuing to write operating policies and procedures and also to look for ways to improve our operational efficiency. Cross discipline training of on-site personnel is one technique that is helping us reduce the number of staff required during normal operations. On-site system training continues.

VISITOR EXPERIENCE
In the past month, we have completed another revision to the 4000 sq. ft. public gallery show concept in the Gateway to Space facility. Discussions with Virgin Galactic and other commercial space companies regarding participation in various media pieces and physical spaces continue. Script and interpretive copy and imagery have passed through FAA-mandated review and comment periods, so production on many media elements can now begin. Exterior signage and wayfinding materials are set for submission to the New Mexico State Historic Preservation Office next month for review and comment.

We had the pleasure of visiting more extensively with our on-site ranching neighbor regarding including their historical perspective in our visitor experience. We additionally explored the project’s collaboration with local area municipal and state museums, as well as the state tourism department through multiple site tours over the month.

The City of Truth or Consequences Planning and Zoning committee has approved the summary re-plat of the parcel intended to be the site of the Spaceport America Visitor Center near Interstate 25 exit 79.

MEDIA COVERAGE
In September, the Space Review had a nice article written by Jeff Foust titled “Spaceport America awaits liftoff”. Go to: Spaceport America awaits liftoff (http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2363/) .

Also, Wired magazine online has exclusive video of the Virgin Galactic onboard camera view of SpaceShipTwo’s second successful powered flight. The video has the test pilot’s conversations during the powered part of the flight and through the cutoff and part of the return glide flight. Go to: Watch: Take a 70000-Foot Ride in the Sky With Virgin Galactic Test … (http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/09/video-virgin-galactic-test-pilots/)

Spaceport America and White Sands Missile Range were mentioned in the September Popular Science Magazine online story called “A Quick Primer on America’s Spaceports”. Go to: A Quick Primer On America’s Spaceports (http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-09/brief-guide-americas-spaceports)

We also hosted an Elephant Butte-based triathlon. Participants swam, bicycled and ran. The bikers rode 56 miles to and from Spaceport America on September 29. We hope to make this an annual event working with the organizers, Heros Inc, in Elephant Butte.

We were also interviewed by Live Science/Space.com and Santa Fe Public Radio this month.

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Copyright © 2013 Spaceport America, All rights reserved.

Spaceport America Newsletter – September 2013

** NEWS from Spaceport America
————————————————————
September 2013

FROM THE DIRECTOR
We, along with Virgin Galactic, had the pleasure of hosting the first day of the DC-X Twenty Year Reunion organized by the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo. DC-X was a tremendous program that has influenced the design of many other space vehicles. This month, we continued to prepare for the arrival of SpaceX. The Spaceport Operations Center interior is almost complete. The second access road to the spaceport, aka “the southern road”, is moving forward. We had the opportunity to speak at the Professional Aerospace Contractors Association of New Mexico in Albuquerque, the New Mexico Chamber Executives Association and provided a spaceport tour to the New Mexico Economic and Rural Development Legislative Committee.

We hope these newsletters are helpful in keeping you up to date on Spaceport activities. Feel free to send questions or comments to us via our website (http://spaceportamerica.com/) .

Chris

Christine Anderson, Executive Director
New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA)

TECHNICAL OPERATIONS UPDATE
We have been focused on preparing the FAA Spaceport Launch Site Operator License renewal application. The license must be renewed every five years. Although the renewal application process is more straightforward than the original license application, many elements need to be updated to reflect construction of the horizontal launch area as well as additional customers in the vertical launch area.

We are working with SpaceX to ensure that the facilities and services they will need to support their launches are ready when required, and as always, we continue to work with Virgin Galactic to on details of how they will conduct their operations at Spaceport America.

CONSTRUCTION STATUS
The second access road to the spaceport, aka “the southern road” is moving forward. Doña Ana County is coordinating its design with Sierra County. The two counties have arrived at a plan for the design and construction.

We are continuing to develop and mature the protective service and general service operating procedures. We are also continuing to look for ways to reduce the cost of operations in order to be as efficient as possible.

The Spaceport Operations Center interior fit-out is progressing well. The furniture should be arriving in a few weeks with move in scheduled for some spaceport staff and contractors in late October.

The staff and contractors completed training on the operation and maintenance of many of the spaceport systems including the security system, water system and fuel depot.

VISITOR EXPERIENCE
It has been a busy month for the visitor experience. Team IDEAS has completed the construction level drawings and NMSA has completed the construction RFP for the Visitor Center and the on-site Visitor Complex. Following the approval of the financing package by the state, we are eagerly awaiting the completion of the bank loan due diligence process so that we can release the RFP for the facilities. Additionally, the team has developed site signage location and verbiage recommendations, begun programming on an orbital debris interactive kiosk game, and started collaborating with our ranching neighbors on the inclusion of their pioneering stories into the on-site experience. Steady website improvements, new voiceover talent selections and interpretive copy revisions also mark our progress. Finally, Team IDEAS continues to aggressively seeking sponsors for the spaceport, including facility naming rights as well as in kind partnerships.

In other news, Follow the Sun tours has recorded its busiest summer yet of Spaceport Preview Tours (http://spaceportamerica.com/plan-a-visit/preview-tours/) . If you haven’t been yet, tours depart every Friday Saturday and Sunday.

MEDIA COVERAGE
Spaceport America’s recent NASA launch continues to generate media coverage for the spaceport. Angela Kocherga, Border Bureau Chief from the Belo Border Bureau reported on our recent UP Aerospace launch for NASA at the spaceport. Her story on the launch (http://www.khou.com/news/213040451.html) aired in recent weeks over WFAA-Dallas, KHOU-Houston, KENS-San Antonio, KTVK-Phoenix and KMSB-Tucson, and it featuring the student-payload side of these NASA launches.

A detailed story on Spaceport America, by leading commercial-space reporter Leonard David at Space.com, was posted in early August. The article (http://www.space.com/22224-spaceport-america-space-tourists.html) focuses on expanding commercial space operations.

New Mexico Magazine will be including Spaceport America in a story on interesting architectural buildings in New Mexico. Albuquerque Business First will be including Spaceport America in an upcoming story on aviation in New Mexico. Albuquerque Business First has had several stories on the spaceport in recent months.

UP Aerospace released some great footage that was posted on Space.com. The footage was taken from a camera aboard their SL-7 rocket launch (http://www.space.com/22218-spaceloft-7-launches-from-spaceport-america-booster-cam-video.html) from Spaceport America in June. Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet and the London Sunday Mail Newspaper are looking to attend the upcoming NASA-sponsored UP Aerospace SL-8 launch.

I had the opportunity to present at the Professional Aerospace Contractors Association (PACA) annual Briefing for Industry in Albuquerque. PACA always does a terrific job of organizing this event and I have had the pleasure of participating in it for many years, both from my Air Force days and now from the Spaceport America perspective. I also presented at the New Mexico Chamber Executives Association and provided a spaceport tour to the NM Economic and Rural Development Legislative Committee.

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Copyright © 2013 Spaceport America, All rights reserved.

Spaceport America Newsletter – August 2013

** NEWS from Spaceport America
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August 2013

FROM THE DIRECTOR
We have been busy in a variety of areas. One of the most visible activities was our pursuit of approval to seek a $20M private loan to construct the Visitor Experience buildings. We gained both the New Mexico Spaceport Authority Board approval and also the New Mexico State Board of Finance approval. Our goal is to have a loan in place by September.

We hope these newsletters are helpful in keeping you up to date on Spaceport activities. Feel free to send questions or comments to us via our website (http://spaceportamerica.com/) .

Chris

Christine Anderson, Executive Director
New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA)

TECHNICAL OPERATIONS UPDATE
After the highly successful launch on June 21 of the UP Aerospace SL-7 vehicle, the technical team concentrated during July on preparations for upcoming launch activities and on renewal of our Launch Site Operator License. UP has posted a spectacular downward looking on-board video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZqbjQ9ASc8) of the first part of the SL-7 mission on YouTube. We worked with the US Army White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) to select a date for the UP Aerospace SL-8 mission (October 9). Because UP’s vehicles land within WSMR, scheduling is critical. We also continued to make preparations for hosting SpaceX Grasshopper launches.

Our Launch Site Operator License was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration for a five-year period that expires at the end of this year. We have nearly completed the renewal request and will submit it formally in the very near future. The renewal request is much easier to prepare than the initial application, but it still requires considerable effort to ensure that all of the information contained in the application is up-to-date.

CONSTRUCTION STATUS
Phase 1 construction is complete. Hurray!! The 2000 foot runway extension is complete. The fit-out of the Spaceport Operations Center is on-going and on schedule.
We just ordered the Pumper Truck from Artesia Fire Equipment. This is our fourth and final fire related vehicle to be purchased for the spaceport.

We also had a special guest at the Spaceport in July, Lord Norman Foster from Foster+Partners in London, the architectural consultant for the Terminal Hangar Facility, aka the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space. This was the first time Lord Foster had seen the building in its completed state. He was very pleased with the results.

VISITOR EXPERIENCE
The visitor experience team has begun production of multiple components in the Spaceport Central visitor complex on-site, in particular the interactive kiosk systems and smart mobile device systems. The Spaceport America “App” is going to be very exciting and will even include augmented reality features for guests to enhance their visits using mobile devices. The interactive team is also exploring the use of motion and gesture interfaces for some of the displays and exhibits.

MEDIA COVERAGE
A good part of Spaceport America’s media coverage in July was from the New Mexico Spaceport Authority’s request for a $20 million private loan to build the Spaceport America visitor experience facilities in Truth or Consequences and at the spaceport. This story generated wide regional television, radio and newspaper coverage.

The Albuquerque Journal’s Sunday, July 14 also ran a feature story titled “Countdown to Launch,” which gave readers a comprehensive update with an overview of the progress being made at Spaceport America.

A BBC television team attended and filmed the June 21 UP Aerospace launch for NASA at the spaceport. The story also features the nearby town of Truth or Consequences and the impact the spaceport is having on the town from the emerging commercial space economy. Read the story here (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23152461) .

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Copyright © 2013 Spaceport America, All rights reserved.