Steve Landeene to Oversee Abu Dhabi Spaceport Development for Virgin Galactic

Steve Landeene

ABU DHABI (Virgin Galactic PR) — Virgin Galactic LLC (“Virgin Galactic”), part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, and Aabar Investments PJS (“Aabar”) today announced that they had appointed Steve Landeene to the role of Chief Advisor, Spaceport Abu Dhabi. Between 2007 and 2010, Landeene was Executive Director of Spaceport America in New Mexico and oversaw the development of Virgin Galactic’s operational hub and the world’s first purpose built commercial spaceport.

Under a deal announced in 2009 between Virgin Galactic and Aabar, the two companies agreed that Abu Dhabi would gain exclusive regional rights, subject to the receipt of regulatory clearances, to host Virgin Galactic tourism and scientific research space flights. Landeene’s appointment is an important step in bringing those plans to fruition, underscoring Abu Dhabi’s commitment to being an international destination of choice and a regional leader in tourism, advanced science, technology and higher education.

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Martinez Sacks Spaceport Board as Problems at Spaceport America Surface

Terminal Hangar Facility at Spaceport America.

Gov. Susana Martinez sacked the entire New Mexico Spaceport Authority Board of Directors on Friday. Two days later, the Albuquerque Journal published an investigative report exposing construction delays, poor planning, and weak managerial oversight on the $209-million desert spaceport outside of Truth or Consequences.

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New Mexico Spaceport Authority Appoints Interim Director

Steve Landeene

New Mexico’s Economic Development Secretary Fred Mondragon is now acting executive director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority following the unexpected resignation of his predecessor, Steve Landeene.

The spaceport authority’s board of Directors made the appointment. It will meet again in 10 days to discuss a successor to Landeene, who had served in the post since January 2008.

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New Mexico Spaceport Authority Executive Director Resigns

New Mexico Spaceport Authority director resigns
Las Cruces Sun-News

New Mexico Spaceport Authority director Steve Landeene announced his resignation Friday.

Landeene formally resigned in a letter to the Spaceport Authority Chairman and state Economic Development Secretary Fred Mondrag-n. Landeene pointed to a new law passed this year that decreases liability for the spaceport, saying the measure was “the last major element solidifying Spaceport America.”

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Spaceport America Groundbreaking Begins Today

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

 

Spaceport groundbreaking events begin Thursday
Las Cruces Sun News

If there’s a proper New Mexican way to mark the start of a $200 million construction project that eventually will help launch tourists to space, it’s with mariachis.

Live music from a mariachi band Thursday night in Las Cruces is part of the first of four events this week to mark the groundbreaking of Spaceport America, touted as the first-ever purpose-built spaceport in the world.

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Work Proceeds as Spaceport America Prepares for Official Groundbreaking

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

Birthplace of commercial space
The Las Cruces Bulletin

For those who worry about the spaceport depending so heavily on Virgin Galactic, Landeene said the company is still intent on spending between $250 million and $350 million on development of the spaceliner, which will first take tourists to suborbital space at $200,000 a flight.

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Spaceport America to Officially Break Ground June 19

Artist Impression of Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo/SpaceShipOne over Spaceport America in New Mexico.
Artist Impression of Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo/SpaceShipOne over Spaceport America in New Mexico.

SPACEPORT AMERICA PRESS RELEASE

Officials from the New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) have scheduled a formal groundbreaking ceremony of Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport, for Friday, June 19. Event organizers plan on inviting key dignitaries and officials, and will announce additional details on planned events shortly.

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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.

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Landeene: Virgin Galactic Brand Has “Unlimited” Possibility

Profile: Spaceport executive sees an ‘unlimited possibility’
Las Cruces Sun-News

When he heard the name Spaceport America, [Steve] Landeene said his attention was immediately attracted to southern New Mexico.

Landeene, 45, admitted he didn’t know much about the planned commercial spaceport facility near Upham — about 40 miles north of Las Cruces and east of I-25 — but the name alone intrigued him when he received a phone call from a headhunter about several job opportunities.

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New Mexico Space Tourism Hub Expected to Generate Thousands of Jobs

The Las Cruces Sun-News ask a pertinent question today about the massive space tourism facility being built in New Mexico desert:
Will spaceport lead to more business, jobs? The answer is apparently yes:

“We’re going to start to see more activity because the general contractor will start building facilities out there,” said Jim Berry, president and CEO of the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce. “As that happens, we’ll see more and more subcontractors, and they’ll need employees.”

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Work Set to Begin Soon on Spaceport America

Preliminary hurdles cleared, spaceport construction can begin
Las Cruces Sun-News

“We are on track to begin construction in the first quarter of next year, and have our facility completed as quickly as possible,” Landeene said. “Safety will dictate when we can launch from there. And, there’s still a lot of flight testing to do and a lot of construction still to do.”

The architectural firm of URS/Foster + Partners is completing final design of the terminal building and hangar facility at the spaceport.

“It’s an important day for New Mexico and the nation as Spaceport America now adds to the United States’ launch infrastructure,” said Daniela Glick, chairwoman of the Spaceport Authority board of directors.

FAA to Rule on Spaceport America; Virgin Galactic Deal Near

Finalized report key to spaceport future
Las Cruces Sun News

“A federal agency today is expected to finalize an environmental study related to Spaceport America, a key step in the facility’s licensing process, and a long-awaited agreement between the spaceport and its anchor tenant company, Virgin Galactic, is just days away, a spaceport official said last week.

“The Federal Aviation Administration will issue a final decision on an environmental impact statement for the $200 million project and issue a license for the site, as well, said Steve Landeene, director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority.”

New Mexico Seeks Federal Support for Spaceport

New Mexico officials were in Washington last week, seeking federal support for the establishment of a new commercial spaceport in their state.

Governor Bill Richardson and Spaceport America executive director Steve Landeene made the rounds, meeting with Congressional leaders and NASA Administrator Mike Griffin. Although federal officials offered no funding, they did express support for New Mexico’s efforts, which could payoff over time.