Legislative Update: Booze at Spaceport America, Fizz in Washington State

WhiteKnightTwo visited Spaceport America for the first time in three years on Wednesday. Below, you can see a full-scale model of SpaceShipTwo on the ramp. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)
WhiteKnightTwo visited Spaceport America for the first time in three years on Wednesday. Below, you can see a full-scale model of SpaceShipTwo on the ramp. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Visitors to Spaceport America will soon be able to imbibe under a law signed by New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

With commercial spaceflights still a long way off, the cash-strapped New Mexico Spaceport Authority requested a liquor license to expand the number and types of non-aerospace events it can host there.

Meanwhile, two measures aimed at encouraging space development in Washington State have fizzled in the Legislature as elected officials grappled with more urgent priorities. Neither one is expected to make it out of committee during the present legislative session.

One bill would create a space exploration center. The other would have provided tax incentives to spacecraft manufacturers similar to the ones enjoyed by aircraft producer Boeing.

The latter bill is considered crucial to Blue Origin, which has a production facility located in Kent, Wash. The company is in the process of deciding whether to manufacture its new BE-4 engine in Washington or at a facility under development in Florida.