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Home | Tag Archives: spaceport america

Tag Archives: spaceport america

Gallery+Story: 2019 Spaceport America Cup underway, 120 Teams set to compete

The third annual Spaceport America Cup launched Tuesday with competitors from fourteen different countries, landing in the Land of Enchantment for the five-day event and competition.

The Cup is designed around the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition for student rocketry teams from American and International Colleges and Universities.

University students will be launching solid, liquid, and hybrid rockets to target altitudes of 10,000 and 30,000 feet.

Our very own Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta was there and we bring you his view of day one in this gallery.

Virgin Galactic set to move to Spaceport America this Summer

At a Friday morning news conference at the New Mexico State Capitol Building in Santa Fe, hosted by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Virgin Founder Sir Richard Branson announced that Virgin Galactic’s development and testing program had advanced sufficiently to move the spaceline staff and space vehicles from Mojave, California to their commercial operations headquarters at Spaceport America, New Mexico.

“Our Virgin Galactic adventure has been intertwined with New Mexico and Spaceport America right from the start and our stories have unfolded together. New Mexico delivered on its promise to build a world-first and world-class spaceport,” Sir Richard Branson declared. “Today, I could not be more excited to announce, that in return, we are now ready to bring New Mexico a world-first, world-class spaceline. Virgin Galactic is coming home to New Mexico where together we will open space to change the world for good.”

The move, which involves more than 100 staff, will commence immediately and continue through the summer, to minimize schooling disruption for families.

“Virgin Galactic’s announcement today is an incredibly exciting development for both our state’s economic future and the future of aerospace in general,” New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “With these workers here and with these plans firmly in place, I’m certain New Mexico will serve as the launchpad for the rapid industry growth we’ve been expecting for so many years. Today marks the beginning of the next chapter of aerospace in New Mexico.”

This announcement signals the final countdown to a regular commercial spaceflight service for paying passengers and science research from Spaceport America.

Their decision follows the progress in operational readiness at Spaceport, including the completion of the hanger, offices, fuel farm, warehouse and antenna for telemetry and communications, as well as interior fit-out.

It also positions New Mexico on the frontline of technological innovation and, as one of the very few places on Earth that plays host to regular human spaceflight launches, a magnet for inward investment.

Virgin Galactic will reposition its space system consisting of carrier aircraft VMS Eve and spaceship VSS Unity from Mojave, California to Spaceport America over the summer months once cabin interior and other work has been completed by Virgin Galactic’s sister manufacturing organisation, The Spaceship Company (TSC).

Virgin Galactic will complete its final test flights from New Mexico for commencing a full commercial service for passengers and research payload. TSC will remain based in Mojave where it will continue building Virgin Galactic’s planned fleet of SpaceShipTwo and carrier aircraft WhiteKnightTwo vehicles.

The first photograph of Earth from space was taken over New Mexico in October of 1946,” George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company said. H”ow inspiring and appropriate that the state will soon host the first regular commercial spaceflight service, which will enable thousands of people to see Earth from space with their own eyes.  We are deeply grateful to the citizens and leadership of New Mexico for having the vision to create a better future for their children and all of humanity.”

“Going to space and exploring the universe is a team effort.  It takes strong partnerships that are courageous and also vulnerable.  Sir Richard’s visionary leadership to take meaningful risks along with New Mexico leadership’s far-sighted commitment – epitomizes the successful partnerships that are truly needed for the space industry.  I and the rest of the Spaceport America staff are extremely excited to support Virgin Galactic’s continued growth and future success here in New Mexico.” Dan Hicks, CEO of Spaceport America added.

Virgin Galactic partnered with New Mexico in an agreement which saw the state complete construction of Spaceport America, the world’s first, purpose-built commercial spaceport, and Virgin Galactic committing to center its commercial spaceflight activities at the facilities once its vehicles and operations were ready for service.

SpinLaunch Breaks Ground for New Test Facility at Spaceport America

On Tuesday, Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport, and SpinLaunch, an innovative new space company revolutionizing access to space, celebrated the ground-breaking of SpinLaunch’s future test facility at Spaceport America.

Attending the groundbreaking ceremony was Dan Hicks, CEO, Spaceport America, Alicia Keyes, Cabinet Secretary for Economic Development for the State of New Mexico, and Jonathan Yaney, founder and CEO of SpinLaunch, among New Mexico government and business leaders, and students from area universities.

In January, Spaceport America announced a new lease agreement that will facilitate testing for the new launch company. The new agreement enables SpinLaunch to develop a $7 million construction project, adding 20 new jobs in New Mexico at the Spaceport.

SpinLaunch, which was founded in 2014, and last year announced a $40 million Series A financing round funded by Airbus Ventures, Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins, is developing disruptive launch technology with an environmentally responsible kinetic energy-based launch system that will provide the world’s lowest-cost orbital launch services for the rapidly growing small satellite industry.

The responsive launch system will allow for on-demand launches of small satellites in virtually any weather at an order of magnitude lower cost and higher frequency than any existing or proposed launch system.

“We are excited to be developing our first flight test site at Spaceport America,” remarked Jonathan Yaney, CEO, SpinLaunch. “The state of New Mexico historically has been the genesis of innovation in aerospace going back to the early days of rocketry and we are proud to continue this tradition. The commercial space market is expected to grow to a trillion dollar industry within the decade and this new agreement with Spaceport America will expedite our ability to service that emerging market.”

“I’m excited to welcome an innovative company like SpinLaunch to our state,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “Aerospace has tremendous potential as an economic driver, and any step we take that encourages the growth of an industry that can put New Mexicans to work and catalyze our local communities is a very positive development.”

“The citizens of New Mexico have supported Spaceport America to enable a new revolution in space systems,” said Dan Hicks, CEO, Spaceport America. “SpinLaunch, with its new configuration to employ kinetic energy, is truly one of the most exciting new ventures to enter the space industry and we are excited to be part of their growth – and in turn enable the growth of the small satellite market.”

“In New Mexico space is not the final frontier, it’s the next frontier,” said Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes of the Economic Development Department. “We have the facility, we have the talent and we have the air space, to grow the aerospace industry and be a permanent home to SpinLaunch and other companies.”

Relay Race from El Paso to Spaceport Starts at Coliseum

“To boldly go where no man has gone before.”  In this case, it may not be a “Star Trek,” but it is certainly a unique trek of 180 miles from El Paso to New Mexico in what is considered a one-of-a-kind USA Track and Field-sanctioned foot race across two states, officials announced at a news conference Tuesday, Feb. 28.

The inaugural Spaceport America Relay Race on April 8-9 will feature teams of 12 runners in 36 different race legs, ranging from 2 to 13.2 miles each, during day and night, starting at the El Paso County Coliseum and finishing at Spaceport America.

Brian Kennedy, CEO and president of the El Paso Sports Commission, which oversees the Coliseum, will be joined by Spaceport America CEO Daniel Hicks to officially kick off the race at the Coliseum, located at 4100 E. Paisano, which has been designated as the official starting point.

“It’s amazing to be part of such a unique venture with Spaceport America,” Kennedy said. “The event will give runners a unique route that will highlight the beautiful culture and landscaping of El Paso and New Mexico. And for the historic El Paso County Coliseum to be part of this special collaboration is incredible.”

“The Spaceport America Relay Race is a fun, inclusive race event designed to appeal to everyone, from amateur runners to seasoned athletes,” Hicks said.

Traveling from El Paso along the historic Rio Grande valley, teams will make their way north into New Mexico along the El Camino de Tierra Adentro Trail through Doña Ana County and villages such as La Union, Chamberino, Vado and Mesilla, and, of course, Las Cruces.

As day turns to night, teams will run under a full moon through towns such as Rincon and Hatch, and into Sierra County and the towns of Arrey and Truth or Consequences.

As the sun rises in the beautiful desert surrounding the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport that is situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range, teams will continue to conquer the open-road course on Day 2.

The final runners will run along the actual two-mile Spaceway at Spaceport America and cross the finish line on the Gateway to Space apron in front of Virgin Galactic’s futuristic Terminal Hangar Facility, where teams will celebrate at a special after-party.

Beth Moses, Virgin Atlantic’s chief astronaut instructor, will be the guest speaker at the finish line. Moses joined Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline, after working at NASA, where she served as the spacewalk system manager for the International Space Station, designing the hardware used by spacewalkers to construct the ISS in orbit.

Moses also will compete in the race.

Registration is now underway. The cost is $1,320 per 12-person team ($1,560 for VIP team); $840 per 6-person team ($900 for VIP team); and $1,500 per corporate team. Spectator tickets will cost $5 and $10.

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