Spaceport America Newsletter – May 2015

View the HTML Version

FROM THE CEO
This has been a busy time for us. We are preparing for the grand opening of our Spaceport America Experience in June. We had a preview tour with students last month which was a big hit—see the YouTube video launching our new tourism campaign YOUR INVITATION TO SPACE.

We also hosted two student launches in April. New Mexico Tech students actually built a rocket as opposed to the normal student launches we have where students build the payloads that are then carried by a host rocket. The NM Tech rocket achieved its goals. We hope to be able to work with the University on more projects like this one.

We are also finishing up our new five year business plan that will be posted online this month. You will see a continuing trend of further diversification in business sectors and an increase in marketing. Our new Marketing Director is already having a very positive impact.

As always, let us hear from you.

Chris

Christine Anderson, CEO
Spaceport America

AEROSPACE ACTIVITIES
Spaceport America hosted the launches of two medium size rockets during April. On April 18, an experimental rocket designed and built by the students in the Mechanical Engineering Department at New Mexico Tech was launched at 8:03 AM. The nearly ten-foot long rocket reached an altitude of 11,500 feet. The launch was part of a program at New Mexico Tech’s Mechanical Engineering Department that requires each student to participate in an intensive design team activity, a requirement for graduation from the school’s engineering program. The rocket carried instruments to document performance and carried two experimental flight computers developed by the school’s Electrical Engineering Department. The 40-pound rocket reached a top speed of approximately Mach 0.8. With the exception of the motor, essentially every element of the rocket is the work of the students who are analyzing the in-flight data to fully characterize performance and to validate their pre-flight modeling and simulation.

On April 25 we hosted the launch of a rocket carrying student payloads. The launch of the 14-foot rocket was sponsored by the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium. There were seven experiments on board built by students and teachers from the Las Cruces Public Schools, Dona Ana Community College, Hot Springs Middle School and High School, and Roswell Middle school. The launch took place in the Spaceport America Vertical Launch Area and achieved an altitude of 12,600 feet. It was conducted on behalf of Space Grant by F.L.A.R.E (the Fellowship of Las Cruces Area Rocketry Enthusiasts). Over 100 people were on the site to observe. After the launch, students were given back their experiments and used the hangar area of the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space building to inspect and retrieve data from their payloads.

EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH
Dr. Bill Gutman, the Spaceport’s Aerospace Operations Director, continued with our Virtual Classroom program where we connect online with classroom students in Sierra and Doña Ana public schools. We host a question/answer session and then take the students on a virtual tour. This has been a big hit so far.

We also hosted students from Sierra County Middle School and Doña Ana County middle schools on a preview tour of the Spaceport America Experience which will officially open to the public in June. The students really seemed to enjoy the tour, particularly the G-Shock Simulator.

Some teachers are also taking advantage of our on-line lesson plans, located at www.spaceportamerica.com/learning. These plans related to the kiosk games at the Gateway Gallery on site that students can play when they visit.

SPACEPORT AMERICA EXPERIENCE
The visitor experience is almost complete. The Spaceport America Experience has three parts. The Spaceport Visitor Center located in Truth or Consequences (T or C), the shuttle bus ride to the spaceport, and the Gateway Gallery located in the Gateway to Space building. The Gateway Gallery features a G-Shock Simulator, many interactive kiosks and displays focused on the science behind the commercial space industry. In addition, we have several displays of archaeological artifacts from the region.

The City of T or C and Follow The Sun, Inc, the tour operator, are enhancing the off-site departure location, the Spaceport Visitor Center. The Center is located in a 1935 adobe building in the historic district of T or C. The Center will feature more displays and exhibits licensed from Spaceport America.

The shuttle bus will be equipped with monitors that feature original videos showcasing the local area, the history of the region and the commercial space industry.

As noted earlier, we had a “preview” tour with students in April. The Grand Opening is planned for June when the T or C Visitor Center is complete.

SPECIAL EVENTS
We hosted several special events this past month including an automobile photo-shoot, a professional group meeting, and a new drone camera photoshoot with 3DRobotics. You can see some of 3DR’s fantastic footage on YouTube.

SPACEPORT HIRING
The spaceport has vacancies for an airfield operations manager/controller, aerospace engineer and IT General Manager. Please visit our employment website for more information.

MEDIA COVERAGE AND OUTREACH
We had lots of media coverage resulting from our Spaceport America Experience preview tour on April 9 and the student launches on April 18 and April 25.

I had the pleasure of being the guest speaker at the University of New Mexico 50^th Anniversary Gala Celebration of the School of Medicine’s Surgery Department where over 100 people attended. I also spoke at the Las Cruces Chamber luncheon where over 170 people attended.

We also gave several interviews this past month which resulted in new articles including an article about our new Business Plan.

============================================================

Spaceport America Newsletter – March 2015

View the HTML Version

FROM THE DIRECTOR
The Sierra County Commission passed a resolution in support of Spaceport America last month. It was very much appreciated by the spaceport staff and support contractors who have been working very hard to make the spaceport a success. Sierra County is the home county of the spaceport.

We also had a great time hosting our first fly-in and plan to have more. We are beginning several student initiatives and also preparing for a NM Tech student flight event in April.

We hired a Brand/Marketing Manager, Tammara Anderton. She has over 20 years of experience in business to business marketing and also brand management. She will be a great addition to our team.

As always, let us hear from you.

Chris

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

VALENTINES DAY FLY-IN
On Saturday, February 14, Valentine’s Day, Spaceport America hosted its first ever private pilot fly-in. Ten pilots flew aircraft ranging in size from a two-place Vans RV-4 to a Cessna 340 and a Beechcraft Duke. Thirty-four guests received tours of the Spaceport Operations Center and the Gateway to Space building. In addition, the aircraft rescue and firefighting team discussed their roles and responsibilities and provided a tour of the fire station. During lunch, I provided a spaceport update. The weather was perfect for flying, and the event was a big success. We expect to host similar events in the coming months. KRQE TV pilot reporter Bob Martin covered the event.

SPACEPORT MAIN ENTRANCE
Construction on the main security station is complete. In addition, a New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs funded sculpture designed specifically for the spaceport through the Art in Public Places program has been completed and installed at the main entrance. The artist Otto Rigan was inspired by the simple but strong designs seen at the spaceport and by the beginning of the New Space Age. He named the sculpture GENESIS. The 2.5 ton sculpture is 40 feet wide, 23 feet high and 5 feet deep and is fabricated from steel and cast glass. The finish will continue to patina over time in the same way as the Gateway to Space building does.

SPACEPORT AMERICA EXPERIENCE
The visitor experience is almost complete. The Spaceport America Experience has three parts. The Spaceport Visitor Center located in Truth or Consequences (T or C), the shuttle bus ride to the spaceport, and the Gateway Gallery located in the Gateway to Space building. The Gateway Gallery features a G-Shock Simulator, many interactive kiosks and displays focused on the science behind the commercial space industry. In addition, we have several displays of archaeological artifacts from the region.

The City of T or C and Follow The Sun, Inc, the tour operator, are enhancing the off-site departure location, the Spaceport Visitor Center. The Center is located in a 1935 adobe building in the historic district of T or C. The Center will feature more displays and exhibits licensed from Spaceport America.

The shuttle bus will be equipped with monitors that feature original videos showcasing the local area, the history of the region and the commercial space industry.

Stay tuned for the Grand Opening soon!

SPACEPORT HIRING
The spaceport has current openings for an airfield operations manager/controller and aerospace engineer. Please visit our employment website (http://spaceportamerica.com/jobs/employment/) for more information.

MEDIA COVERAGE AND OUTREACH
I had the pleasure of being the key note speaker at the Albuquerque Chapter of the New Mexico Society of Professional Engineers Annual Meeting on February 27. The event was a celebration of the 64^th anniversary of Engineers’ Week. Over 300 attendees participated.

We also participated on a Spaceport Panel at the annual FAA Commercial Space Conference in Washington DC on February 5.

We gave numerous interviews this month to a variety of media sources including the BBC, KFOX News in El Paso and the New Mexico Watch Dog.

============================================================

Copyright © 2015 Spaceport America, All rights reserved.

Spaceport America Newsletter – February 2015

View the HTML Version

FROM THE DIRECTOR
The New Mexico Legislature has started its 60 day session. The legislators will be considering many very important matters for the State. Regarding spaceport matters, they will be considering whether to approve a special appropriation of $1.783M to cover the shortfall resulting from the delay due to the Virgin Galactic mishap last October. If the funding is approved, it will only be drawn upon if the spaceport does not make up the difference in additional revenue. It is an insurance policy for the $218.5M state’s investment.

The Space Industry in the United States alone is a multi-billion dollar industry spanning the defense, civil and commercial sectors. Spaceport America has customers in all three sectors and will continue to do so. The commercial space sector is the newest sector and presents exciting opportunities but is an emerging industry. There are many well-known companies making great progress like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, XCOR, Blue Origin and Sierra Nevada. There are also many others, less known, coming on line. Make no mistake it is happening. Is it happening on a predictable timetable? No. It is technology development and pushing the envelope. It needs to be done right and it is precedent setting. The spaceport staff is in discussions with many prospective customers in varying degrees of development and hope to have more customers shortly. As Marie Curie, two -time Nobel Prize Winner, said, “The way of progress is neither swift nor easy.”

Chris

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

 

VALENTINE’S DAY FLY-IN
Spaceport America is hosting a Valentine’s Day Fly-In on February 14^th for private pilots. We have had numerous requests for such an event and are really looking forward to it. A special spaceport tour, presentation and Valentine’s Day luncheon are included at a reasonable price. So if you are a pilot, bring your sweetheart and come celebrate the day with us! Please visit our website (http://spaceportamerica.com/visit-us/fly-ins/) for more information.

GENERAL OPERATIONS
Construction on the main security station is almost complete. The guard booths were delivered last week. In addition, the Art in Public Places very exciting spaceport sculpture has been completed and will be installed at the main entrance shortly. The new entrance will definitely welcome visitors in style. Stay tuned for the grand unveiling.

VISITOR EXPERIENCE
The expanded Visitor Experience is almost complete. We are making the last touches on the Fit-Out of the Gateway Gallery in the Gateway to Space building in preparation for the show content delivery and installation in mid-February. The Gallery will feature a G-Shock Simulator, many interactive kiosks and displays focused on the science behind the commercial space industry. In addition, we have several displays of archaeological artifacts from the region from the residents that lived there over 10,000 years ago. Wouldn’t they be surprised to see their home site now!

In addition, Follow The Sun, Inc, our tour operator, is enhancing the off-site departure location that will feature more displays and exhibits resulting in a more robust and exciting Spaceport America Visitor Experience. Stay tuned for the grand opening coming soon.

SPACEPORT HIRING
The spaceport has current openings in IT, Aerospace, Marketing and Maintenance. Please visit our employment website (http://spaceportamerica.com/jobs/employment/) for more information.

SPACEPORT EMS CREW RESPONDS TO LOCAL CALL
On January 24th the Spaceport America Emergency Medical Service (EMS) crew responded to an emergency call in the neighboring town of Cutter. The Spaceport crew was on scene in 12 minutes, started treatment and packaged the patient for transport. The patient was turned over to an area Hospital EMS Crew once they arrived on the scene about 50 minutes later. Our responders also provided the ambulance crews with accurate directions to the call location as most of the residences in that area are very remote.

MEDIA COVERAGE AND OUTREACH
In January, we conducted interviews with KVIA TV in El Paso and KRQE TV in Albuquerque regarding spaceport-related legislation being introduced this session.

The spaceport will also have coverage in the upcoming issues of AAA magazine and Las Cruces magazine, along with international publications in the Ukraine and Australia.

SPACEPORT MERCHANDISE
Don’t forget, Spaceport America merchandise is now available on our official online store (https://shop.spaceportamerica.com). We are constantly adding new items so check it out.

============================================================
Copyright © 2015 Spaceport America, All rights reserved.

Spaceport America Newsletter – January 2015

View the HTML Version

FROM THE DIRECTOR

On behalf of the entire staff at Spaceport America, we wish you a Happy New Year!

As we start 2015, it seems appropriate to provide a “State of the Spaceport.” Since the Virgin Galactic mishap on October 31^st, there has been much speculation about the status and future of Spaceport America. So here are the facts.

Spaceport America is an FAA licensed commercial spaceport supporting horizontal and vertical launches with a 12,000 foot runway and multiple vertical launch pads. The spaceport’s iconic facilities have been officially recognized internationally as architectural marvels.

The spaceport has hosted 21 vertical launches to date, the most recent on October 23, 2014 and has bookings into the summer. The spaceport has hosted 13 special events such as automotive and fashion photo-shoots including Kawasaki, Jaguar Land Rover, GM, Dodge, Nike and JCrew. These events not only bring revenue to the spaceport but also provide free global advertising. Every marketing campaign is a statement that New Mexico is open for business and ready to excel. And locally each event at Spaceport America brings with it economic activity and opportunity for the surrounding communities to provide goods and services.

Follow the Sun Tours, based in Sierra County, has conducted over 350 spaceport tours and our “Visitor Experience” is not even officially open yet! We have supported several student events and are supporting two more within the next few months. The spaceport has two tenants: Virgin Galactic and SpaceX, two of the most highly regarded companies in the commercial space industry. Although Virgin will be delayed in its first passenger spaceflight from the spaceport, it is making excellent progress on the second spaceship. Virgin remains fully committed to operating the first commercial spaceline at Spaceport America. SpaceX has invested approximately $2 million in improvements to its launch area at the spaceport and is planning to begin flight testing the Falcon 9R in the spring. The Falcon 9R is a real game changer featuring vertical launch AND vertical landing! We are also very proud to be able to support UP Aerospace flights. UP, a long time spaceport customer, is under
contract to NASA to provide suborbital flight opportunities to payload providers and technologists. UP has flown 13 times at the spaceport. The last UP flight set a spaceport altitude record at 77.28 miles. We are also in discussions with several other aerospace related ventures.

To date, we have employed over 1400 New Mexicans. With very few exceptions, contracting has been with New Mexican companies. The Visitor Experience contract is one of the few exceptions. It was awarded to IDEAS of Orlando, Florida, which has previous experience in developing Disney Theme Parks around the world. However, even this contract had a New Mexico architect of record who designed the spaceport Visitor Center facilities. I am happy to report that many fun and educational exhibits will be available to our guests beginning in March in the Gateway Gallery, 4000 square feet in the Gateway to Space building.

The return on the taxpayer investment in Spaceport America has already begun and it will continue to grow. As I have often said, it is not a matter of IF the commercial space industry will succeed and thrive but WHEN. It is not easy to be the first in an emerging field but it is exciting, with an opportunity for fantastic rewards.

We appreciate your continued support and look forward to seeing you at the spaceport in 2015.

Chris

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

============================================================
Copyright © 2015 Spaceport America, All rights reserved.

Spaceport America Newsletter – December 2014

View the HTML Version

FROM THE DIRECTOR

In the wake of the tragic loss of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, we are reprioritizing some of our work.  From preparing for imminent VG launch operations—they were to begin the move in December—to ramping up our ongoing efforts to attract new business.  I emphasize “ramping up” because we have never stopped doing this.  From the very beginning, while having an anchor tenant like Virgin Galactic that over the course of our 20 year agreement may likely yield well over $200M in revenue to the state, we realized that this needed to be complemented by other business so we would not be building upon a single point failure foundation.  While still constructing the spaceport, we have conducted 21 launches, signed up another fabulous tenant, SpaceX, and conducted numerous photo-shoots and special events yielding several hundred thousand dollars in revenue—this is still not enough.  We continue to turn our attention to further diversification of business lines that take full advantage of the spaceport’s and community’s many assets.  We are in the process of updating our business plan, to be published in January 2015. You will see some new and exciting business lines that we will be vigorously pursuing with the help of many of our state and local economic development partners.  In a perfect example of this, you will see below an announcement of our new official Spaceport America merchandise store. So stay tuned. Our last business plan, published in January 2013, can be downloaded from our website.

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.

Chris

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 

Analysis of the trajectory from the October 23 UP Aerospace SL-9 launch at Spaceport America was completed. Final analysis of the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) radar track data indicates that the maximum altitude reached by the rocket was 408,035 feet (77.28 miles). This is slightly higher than the immediate post-launch estimate of 407,862 feet (77.25 miles). UPA has assembled a very nice video montage from the backward-looking on-board camera. This video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uNcdJy8Frc. Several notable in-flight events are highlighted including booster burnout, de-spin activation, booster separation, drogue and main parachute deployment, and soft touchdown in a mesquite bush on WSMR. Several other impressive videos also can be viewed on the UP Aerospace YouTube channel.

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.

GENERAL OPERATIONS
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.

============================================================
Copyright © 2014 Spaceport America, All rights reserved.

Spaceport America Newsletter – November 2014

View the HTML Version

FROM THE DIRECTOR
It is with deep sadness that I write today. Our friends and colleagues in Virgin Galactic and their partner, Scaled Composites, have suffered a tragic mishap. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and especially with the crew and families of the spaceship—the brave test pilots that make aerospace technology advancement possible.

Flight is incredibly challenging–from the very early days of aviation to today’s quest for commercial space travel. Orville Wright suffered a terrible mishap while demonstrating his plane to the army in 1908. He nearly died and his passenger, an army lieutenant, did perish. Many of us lived through the Apollo launch pad fire that killed three great pioneers of the space industry in 1967. And how can we forget the Challenger and Columbia mishaps in 1986 and 2003 respectively. But with great challenge comes great opportunity. Because of these brave souls and all the people behind the scenes working so hard to advance flight, we now have commercial air travel, space communication, space navigation and space imaging—things most of us use in our daily lives and are better for it.

There will be setbacks. It is an inevitable part of moving forward– pushing the boundaries of human achievement. We must learn from these setbacks and become better and stronger for them.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is performing a mishap investigation that will inform the way forward. We must be patient with that process and then we must be supportive of the outcome as we map the best way forward. As George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic, said, “Space is hard and this was a tough day” …but “we are going to get through it.”

To those of us in New Mexico and the other six states that now have FAA commercial spaceports; we are also at the forefront of the future of human flight. The coming months will be challenging but this is but a speed bump in this incredible journey. We must maintain our resolve, purpose and resiliency as we chart the course ahead.

Chris

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

TECHNICAL OPERATIONS UPDATE
SpaceLoft XL 9 flight from Spaceport America, Oct 23, 2014
Spaceport America congratulates UP Aerospace (UPA) on the successful execution of its SL-9 mission on Thursday, October 23. This was the ninth launch of a UPA SpaceLoft XL rocket. It was also the thirteenth launch conducted by UPA at the spaceport, and the twenty-first launch overall.

SL-9 was sponsored by the NASA Flight Opportunities Program. There were four scientific payloads on board.
* Advanced Micro Sun Sensor—Test of an advanced design sun sensor for spacecraft attitude control (NASA JPL)
* Quake 2—Instrument to study bubble formation in spacecraft liquid fuel systems (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, aka BarcelonaTech)
* Vibration Isolation Platform—Test of a spacecraft isolation system to greatly improve the microgravity environment (Controlled Dynamics, Inc.)
* Radiation Hardened PC—Test of a computer designed to better withstand the radiation environment of space (Montana State Univ.)

In order to get the vehicle to its desired flight weight, some inert payloads also were on board.
* Cremains -human ashes (Celestis)
* Brewer’s yeast samples to be exposed to the space environment (Ninkasi Brewing Co.)
* Space-flown commemorative items such as NASA mission patches

The launch had been scheduled for Monday, October 20, but an unfavorable weather forecast prompted the decision to delay it. This was the first UPA mission and only the second Spaceport America mission overall that had to be postponed because of weather. This is a highly enviable record in the space launch industry. On launch day, there was a brief delay to check on a potential problem with one of the payloads, but otherwise, the countdown, launch, and recovery occurred as planned. Vehicle performance was nominal, landing was within the designated area within the US Army White Sands Missile Range, and recovery of the payloads was accomplished shortly after the vehicle was verified by radar to be back on the ground. SL-9 set a new altitude record for Spaceport America launches, 77.24 miles.

MEDIA COVERAGE AND OUTREACH
October was a significant month for press coverage for the spaceport and the New Mexico commercial space industry. We interviewed with The Space Review, Space.com, Albuquerque Journal and KVIA (ABC) El Paso.

In mid-October, CNN’s science and technology reporter Rachael Crane visited Spaceport America. She spent a day touring the spaceport with her film crew. CNN plans to air the special profile on Spaceport America in November. The spaceport was also visited by a correspondent for a Dutch Magazine, Elsevier.

Newly assigned, Brig General Timothy Coffin, Commander of the US Army White Sands Missile Range, visited the Spaceport this month. General Coffin has extensive space experience. We enjoyed providing him and his staff with a tour and discussing our continuing close partnership.

We were invited to provide a presentation at a UNM Mechanical Engineering Department’s graduate seminar. Despite being a Friday afternoon, there was a great turn out! We also provided a presentation to the Civil Air Patrol New Mexico Wing Conference to an enthusiastic audience.

The legislative season is beginning in New Mexico. So far, we provided testimony to the New Mexico Finance Authority Oversight Committee and the Legislative Finance Committee.

============================================================
Copyright © 2014 Spaceport America, All rights reserved.

Spaceport America Newsletter – October 2014

View the HTML Version

FROM THE DIRECTOR

September was an exciting month of flight previews to come. Virgin Galactic flew some training exercises at the Spaceport and in the local area in preparation for the move here. It was great to see WhiteKnightTwo in the skies of New Mexico. We are also preparing for the UP Aerospace Launch this month which will be our 21^st!

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 September 10 and 11, Spaceport America hosted a flight test exercise of the Virgin Galactic WhiteKnightTwo. WhiteKnightTwo is the aircraft that will carry SpaceShipTwo to approximately 50,000 feet altitude before it is released and propelled to space by its internal rocket engine. Some of the more important goals of the exercise were: 1) to test airspace coordination and mission control processes, 2) to provide Virgin Galactic pilots opportunity to gain experience in the operational environment, 3) to provide operational training for Spaceport America and Virgin Galactic personnel, 4) to test and validate ground handling and maintenance procedures at the Spaceport, and 5) to provide Spaceport aircraft rescue and firefighting personnel opportunity to gain greater familiarity with the spaceflight system. Three separate test missions were flown over the two-day event with a different combination of pilots on each. We are happy to report that the exercise was successful in all respects. It was an important step in the steady progression to Virgin Galactic commercial operations at Spaceport America.

OPERATIONS AND CONSTRUCTION UPDATE
Highland Construction is continuing to make good progress on the new spaceport entrance. We are also continuing to work with FEMA regarding repair work from last year’s rain event. We welcomed another staff member, Frank Dominguez, a General Maintenance Technician/Electrician. The Spaceport Protective Services responded to an automobile accident in a nearby off-site location in support of Lakeshore Fire Department Central dispatch. Lakeshore requested assistance due to the location and the road conditions. The Spaceport personnel were able to get to the injured victim in the Spaceport brush truck. Care Flight was called for transport. Spaceport Firefighter (FF) Ryan Williams set up the Landing Zone where there was no power to the area and no moon light. FF Williams was able to draw upon his Forest Service helicopter training to guide the helicopter in. The patient was transported to a trauma hospital. We are proud of our Spaceport Protective Service Team and their strong
commitment to supporting public safety.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND OPPORTUNITES
Spaceport America continues to have photo-shoot customers for product marketing which we can share once the photos are released into the commercial advertising venues. One of the recent commercial shoot customers was Land Rover. Check out the amazing photos taken at Spaceport America.

Virgin Galactic has about 30 contract personnel working on site and that will ramp to about 40 shortly.

NMSA will be attending ISPCS (http://www.ispcs.com) this month in Las Cruces. If you are planning to also be there, feel free to get in touch beforehand; we’d love to meet you.

Also if you’d like to make your company more visible to Spaceport America and its customers, please fill out our Supplier Registration form (http://spaceportamerica.com/jobs/supplier-registration/) on the Spaceport America website. We are providing this registry to our tenants and other customers who may need services.

NMSA IS HIRING (it’s all about jobs!)
Spaceport continues to look for qualified applicants for all open positions listed on the spaceport website: Flight Control Specialist, Aerospace Engineer, and Maintenance Technician.

All of these positions, along with future positions with NMSA, will be posted on the State of New Mexico’s NEOGOV portal (http://agency.governmentjobs.com/newmexico/default.cfm) and on our own Employment website (http://spaceportamerica.com/jobs/employment/) this month. Applicants are encouraged to submit their resumes electronically through either website.

MEDIA COVERAGE AND OUTREACH
We hosted several tours this month including the school boards and superintendents from the Las Cruces, Gadsden, Hatch and Truth or Consequences school districts. We also conducted several interviews with Motherboard, KFOX News, NPR Santa Fe, and the Albuquerque Journal.

============================================================
Copyright © 2014 Spaceport America, All rights reserved.

Spaceport America Newsletter – September 2014

View the HTML Version

FROM THE DIRECTOR
We have had a busy several months. We are continuing construction on the new spaceport entrance. We are working closely with Virgin Galactic and SpaceX in preparation for the start of their operations at the spaceport. We have hosted several tour groups comprised of New Mexico elected officials. The Spaceport Fire Department assisted a neighboring area in extinguishing a fire started by lightning. We surveyed another 500 acres and have found another 40+ archaeological sites! We have hired several new staff members and one more support services contractor.

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 are working with UP Aerospace in preparation for their October launch. This will be their twelfth at the spaceport. They will be carrying a variety of payloads under the NASA Flight Opportunities Program. We also completed a Spaceport Driver’s Training Course for staff and tenants that need to have access to the runway.

OPERATIONS AND CONSTRUCTION UPDATE
Highland Construction is making good progress on the new spaceport entrance. We are also continuing to work with FEMA regarding repair work from last year’s rain event. The Spaceport General Operations Team continues to monitor and ensure that a high level of communications and safety exists at all times for tenants, employees and visitors. The Spaceport Protective Services Team hosted two groups of dispatchers and EMS personnel from our surrounding communities to conduct training and familiarity tours of Spaceport America infrastructure and communication systems. This coordination is critical when surges are required. The Spaceport Fire Department successfully supported a local county fire department on a brush fire response in an area north of Spaceport America.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND OPPORTUNITES
Spaceport America continues to have photo-shoot customers for product marketing which we can share once the photos are released into the commercial advertising venues. One of the recent commercial shoot was Chrysler. Check out the amazing photos taken at Spaceport America of the Dodge Charger Hellcat: http://www.autoblog.com/photos/2015-dodge-charger-srt-hellcat/#photo-2841465

NMSA IS HIRING (it’s all about jobs!)
Spaceport continues to look for qualified applicants for all open positions listed on the spaceport website: Flight Control Specialist, Aerospace Engineer, Electrician, and Maintenance Technician.

All of these positions, along with future positions with NMSA, will be posted on the State of New Mexico’s NEOGOV portal (http://agency.governmentjobs.com/newmexico/default.cfm) and on our own Employment website (http://spaceportamerica.com/jobs/employment/) this month. Applicants are encouraged to submit their resumes electronically through either website.

MEDIA COVERAGE AND OUTREACH
We have had the opportunity to make presentations at several events in Albuquerque including the Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (WASHTO) Conference, the New Mexico Aviation and Aerospace Annual Meeting, and the Professional Aerospace Contractor Association (PACA) annual conference. I also spoke at the Lawyer Pilots Bar Association meeting providing an overview of many of the emerging legal issues associated with the new commercial space industry. We hosted several special tours including one for the Doña Ana County Commissioners and the County Manager, and a tour for many of the elected officials of Sierra County including the County Commissioners, the City of Elephant Butte and the City of Truth or Consequences.

============================================================
Copyright © 2014 Spaceport America, All rights reserved.

Spaceport America Newsletter – July 2014

View the HTML Version

FROM THE DIRECTOR
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!

June has been a busy month for us in house. Lots of continuing work to prep for upcoming launches. We are also hiring a few more staff. Please see the notes below about that.

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 are continuing to work with our tenants on preparing to support their space activities.

Because our on-site Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) has now been accumulating data for over two years, meaningful statistical analysis is now possible. Wind is typically the most important meteorological parameter. We have begun building “wind roses” to summarize wind data. The wind rose construct is a common method to depict probabilities of winds in specified speed intervals as a function of direction. They can be constructed for an entire data set, by year, by month, or even by specific hours within specific months.

CONSTRUCTION AND GENERAL OPERATIONS UPDATE
Spaceport America awarded a contract to Pure Operations of Las Cruces, New Mexico for water services support at the spaceport. We also received proposals for HVAC services support and will be making an award shortly.

We brought on board two more staff members: Mike Bashore, IT Support Manager, and Chris Lopez, Maintenance Support Manager. These folks will be instrumental as we ramp up for full operations.

Virgin Galactic is continuing work on its fit out construction activities for the Gateway facility at Spaceport America.

Doña Ana County has released its road design to the BLM for review and is now planning to release the RFP for construction in August. Contact the Doña Ana County Engineer’s Office for more information.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (it’s all about jobs!)
NMSA is filling two new positions: Flight Control Specialist and Aerospace Engineer.

Flight Control Specialist: The purpose of this position is to provide safe, secure and efficient air and space traffic services to spaceport customers. Provide guidance to the movement of air traffic between altitude sectors and control centers following established procedures and policies. Authorize and control commercial space flights according to government and agency regulations. Assist in writing and maintaining range operations and flight safety plans. Prepare mission reports and analyses.

Aerospace Engineer: The purpose of this position is to perform flight safety assessments of space vehicles and launch systems. Monitor commercial space launches and re-entries. Monitor operation of launch and re-entry sites. Participate in launch readiness reviews. Coordinate spaceport activities with the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation and with the US Army White Sands Missile Range. Ensure compliance with International Trading in Arms Regulations. Assist with preparation and maintenance of spaceport policies and procedures.

Both of these positions, along with future positions with NMSA, will be posted on the State of New Mexico’s NEOGOV portal (http://agency.governmentjobs.com/newmexico/default.cfm) and on our own Employment website (http://spaceportamerica.com/jobs/employment/) this month. Applicants are encouraged to submit their resumes electronically through either website.

On the economic development front, the number of referrals of local hospitality-related and aerospace-related business to spaceport tenants and customers has now climbed to over 60. We will be posting more customer requirements on our website this month. Please watch for that and respond if you feel your company can offer some services.

MEDIA COVERAGE
Last month, a major test launch of a new balloon system designed to carry space tourists took place in New Mexico. This test was conducted by Worldview Enterprises at Roswell, NM. This is the same facility that helped to support the record-setting Red Bull Stratos balloon launch in October 2012. The company is considering operating its space tourism flights from Spaceport America when they become operational.

To view more about the test flight: Edge Of Space Commercial Balloon Flights Closer With Record-Breaking Test | Video (http://www.space.com/26338-edge-of-space-commercial-balloon-flights-closer-with-record-breaking-test-video.html)

SpaceX conducted another low-altitude test of its Falcon 9R reusable booster at the McGregor engine test facility. This flight was the first test of a set of steerable fins that provide control of the rocket during the fly back portion of return. SpaceX is expected to start high-altitude testing of the Falcon 9R reusable booster at Spaceport America later this year.

To view this recent test launch go to: F9R 1000m Fin Flight | Onboard Cam and Wide Shot (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgLBIdVg3EM)

============================================================
Copyright © 2014 Spaceport America, All rights reserved.

Spaceport America Newsletter – June 2014

View the HTML Version

FROM THE DIRECTOR
Virgin Galactic, the FAA Albuquerque Air Route Traffic Control Center and Spaceport America signed an historic agreement that will integrate Virgin Galactic space missions into the FAA National Air Space. This Agreement was needed by Virgin Galactic as part of their FAA space vehicle license. It is precedent setting for future commercial space vehicles that will fly in the National Airspace System.

Spaceport America also awarded a contract to Highland Enterprises, Inc. of Las Cruces, New Mexico for the construction of the permanent security entrance at the spaceport replacing the temporary trailer.

As a side note, the spaceport’s firefighters rescued some baby owls that fell out of their nest that was built in the eaves of the Gateway building. See photo.

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 hosted representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration Office of Commercial Space Transportation on May 19 for the annual inspection that is required to keep our Launch Site Operator License active. This was the first inspection of our five-year renewal period. The representatives inspected our launch-related infrastructure, policies and procedures documents, and records. We are pleased to report that no deficiencies were found and we are awaiting our official letter.

Virgin Galactic and Spaceport America signed a joint agreement (http://spaceportamerica.com/press-release/virgin-galactic-and-spaceport-america-sign-key-agreement-for-access-to-airspace-for-spaceflights-from-new-mexico/) with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that helps clear the path for commercial flights of SpaceShipTwo. The historic agreement sets out the parameters for how routine space missions launched from Spaceport America will be integrated into the National Airspace System. Specifically, the agreement spells out how the FAA’s Albuquerque Air Route Traffic Control Center and the New Mexico Spaceport Authority will work with Virgin Galactic to smoothly and safely provide clear airspace for SpaceShipTwo.

The agreement provides procedures for the safe integration of commercial, licensed space launch operations into the National Airspace System from Spaceport America. The New Mexico Spaceport Authority also has an agreement in place with the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range to support space launch activities within WSMR airspace.

SPACEPORT VISITORS
For the last several weeks, a pair of Great Horned Owls has been nesting in a small opening above the north entrance of the Gateway to Space building. Four owlets were hatched. Unfortunately, strong competition among the siblings (the so called Cain and Abel syndrome) led to three of the young being ejected from the nest before they could survive on their own. Our spaceport firefighters rescued the ejected birds and turned them over to New Mexico Game and Fish for fostering. One of them is seen in the attached photo as well as its rescuer, Spaceport America firefighter Tito Montoya. Note his thick gloves. Even at this age, owlets have long, sharp talons and a powerful beak.
Spaceport Visitors

CONSTRUCTION AND GENERAL OPERATIONS UPDATE
Spaceport America awarded a contract to Highland Enterprises, Inc of Las Cruces, New Mexico to construct the main security entrance at the spaceport. The new facility will replace the temporary trailer.

In recognition of the energy-efficient design and construction of Spaceport America, the New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) received Gold status from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in May. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the USGBC’s rating system for design and construction of energy-efficient and high-performing buildings. The LEED Gold certification was awarded (http://spaceportamerica.com/press-release/spaceport-america-gateway-building-awarded-leed-gold/) to the 110,000 square foot, “Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space” terminal hangar building at Spaceport America.

We also brought on board several more firefighters as we ramp up for full operations.
Virgin Galactic is continuing work on its fit out construction activities for the Gateway facility at Spaceport America.

Doña Ana County has released its road design to the BLM and Sierra County for review and is planning to release the RFP for construction in June.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (it’s all about jobs!)
The New Mexico Spaceport Authority in cooperation with the New Mexico Economic Development Department is continuing the Spaceport’s Economic Development Initiative. Most of the requirements for supply chain and services needed by current tenants, customers and future customers have been gathered. This month a request for input from New Mexico businesses will be initiated on the spaceport’s website and also sent to New Mexico Chambers of Commerce in an effort to match up existing businesses with spaceport customers and inventory regional services and capabilities. Please watch for this posting on our website this month.

MEDIA COVERAGE
The New Mexico Spaceport Authority hosted Reuters Thompson New Service in early May. Following the visit, Reuters published a story covering the city of Truth or Consequences and the Spaceport, along with some very nice photographs. The story generated a wide range of news coverage in the U.S. and around the world: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/05/08/us-usa-spaceport-idUKKBN0DO0ZA20140508

NBC Science and Technology writer Alan Boyle published a feature story on the Spaceport and Virgin Galactic in late May. Their story also led to great news coverage for the Spaceport: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/virgin-voyage/new-mexicos-spaceport-america-takes-shape-middle-nowhere-n87166

Additional national news coverage on the spaceport in May was a result of Daniel Terdiman’s story published by CBS News online science and technology website CNET: http://www.cnet.com/news/at-spaceport-america-jetsons-dreams-get-ready-to-fly/

============================================================
Copyright © 2014 Spaceport America, All rights reserved.