Collaboratory Formed to Promote New Mexico’s Spaceport America During Closed Door Meeting

Sunset at the “Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space” terminal hangar facility at Spaceport America. (Credit: Bill Gutman/Spaceport America)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Officials from New Mexico, the federal government and Virgin Galactic met last week behind closed doors for the state’s first Space Valley Summit to form a “collaboratory” to promote Spaceport America and the state’s aerospace economy.

The one group not invited: taxpayers who have forked over about $250 million to build the spaceport where Virgin Galactic is the anchor tenant. As the Las Cruces Sun News dryly noted

Minutes after [Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham] exhorted the summit to “make sure every New Mexican … knows exactly what is happening here,” all reporters were asked to leave. 


New Mexico Students Fly Experiments into Space

LAS CRUCES, NM (NMSGC PR) — The New Mexico Space Grant Consortium today successfully completed its fifth Student Launch Program launch event from Spaceport America near Las Cruces, N.M. More than 60 NASA Summer of Innovation students and teachers watched as four primary experiments were propelled into space aboard a SpaceLoft-5 rocket, provided by UP Aerospace. Additional university experiments and other items were also on the rocket, which reached an altitude of approximately 74 miles and experienced 17 Gs of force at a speed of Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound at approximately 3,800 mph).


UP Aerospace Launches Student Experiments From New Mexico

Friday’s successful launch of the UP Aerospace SpaceLoft XL rocket for the New Mexico Education Launch was greeted by cheers from students New Mexico, Arizona and Texas as their payload experiments reached space, bringing a successful conclusion to months of work and preparation.


New Mexico Educational Launch to be Broadcast on Friday

The New Mexico Space Grant Consortium (NMSGC) has announced the Third Annual Education Launch will be available to view live online on Friday, May 20. This launch and the yearlong education plan to build experiments is sponsored by NASA through the Summer of Innovation Program. Of the 27 experiments on board, three high school experiments and one community college experiment are supported by the New Mexico Gross Receipts Tax revenue, which is dedicated to supporting spaceport-related education. The UP Aerospace SL-5 rocket is scheduled to launch at 7 a.m. MDT. Pre-launch and launch coverage can be viewed at or


Student Launch Rescheduled for May 20

UP Aerospace Spaceloft XL rocket lifts off from Spaceport America in New Mexico on May 2, 2009.

NMSGC PR – UPHAM, NM – After analyzing the results of a test on the parachute system for the SL-5 rocket, New Mexico Space Grant Consortium (NMSGC) Director Dr. Patricia Hynes has rescheduled the SL-5 Student Launch to Friday, May 20, 2011 Engineers from UP Aerospace conferred with NMSGC launch officials and it was determined that, even though the drop test was successful, a portion of flight hardware became entangled during recovery and was damaged. Safe return of the students’ 27 onboard experiments is a requirement of this launch, so in order to meet the mission specifications, the launch has been rescheduled to May 20 at Spaceport America.


The Schedule for The Space Show This Week…

David Livingston will interview the following guests this week on The Space Show….

1. Monday, August 31, 2009; This is a taped interview from SmallSat featuring Paul Lithgow, President, Comtech AeroAstro.

2. Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009, 7-8:30 PM PDT: There is no program this evening as I am at the National Space Policy meetings in Washington, DC.

3. Friday, Sept. 4, 2009, 9:30-11:30 AM PDT : We welcome back Dr. Pat Hynes of the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium to discuss the upcoming Personal Spaceflight Symposium in Las Cruces, NM Oct. 21-22, 2009.

4. Sunday, Sept. 6,, 2009, 12-1:30 PM PDT: We welcome back Brian Shiro to discuss his recent experiences at Devon Island.

Education Launch Successful at Spaceport America


Today’s successful launch of the UP Aerospace SpaceLoft XL rocket for the SL-3 Education launch is another successful step in developing the world’s first commercial spaceport. Spaceport America and the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium created history with this first annual Education Launch that provided New Mexico students the opportunity to design and launch scientific experiments into space.


Excitement Builds for Saturday Launch at Spaceport America

An artist's conception of a Virgin Galactic flight above Spaceport America in New Mexico
An artist's conception of a Virgin Galactic flight above Spaceport America in New Mexico

Saturday launch will help make Spaceport ‘real,’ officials say
New Mexico Independent

More than 350 people have signed up to attend Saturday’s educational launch from Spaceport America. Officials say that’s evidence that, as the project progresses from a proposal to reality, excitement is building.


Education Launch Planned for Spaceport America


Spaceport America and the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium will conduct the first annual education launch from Spaceport America at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 2, 2009. This historic SL-3 mission will utilize a SpaceLoft XL launch vehicle provided by participating sponsor UP Aerospace and will include 11 multi-sensor experiments designed and created by students from New Mexico schools. The launch is open to the public by RSVP via coach transportation at $10 per person. No private vehicles are allowed to the launch site.