Spaceport de New Mexico

As you've heard by now, New Mexico is moving forward with its puerto del espacio (yes, spaceport). And on the New Mexico legislature's friendly website, I found the spaceport-related legislation Governor Bill Richardson signed into law yesterday: House Bill 89 which creates the New Mexico Spaceport Authority to oversee the spaceport, and House Bill 473 which allows county and municipal governments to support the spaceport and related development through a new "local options gross receipt tax."

In addition, last week the Governor signed
House Bill 835 which allows the State Investment Office to invest in New Mexico aerospace companies that receive more than $100 million in funding from federal agencies like NASA.

(Speaking of which, Jeff Foust was
not googling Jessica Simpson when he found an item about NM's contingent investment of up to $20 million in t/Space "buried" in an AP story about a $13 million dollar state loan to fund a movie starring the actress. ;)

Leonard David covers the developments in New Mexico.

As Leonard relays, the spaceport site consists of "approximately 27 square miles of open, generally level, range land in southern New Mexico that has been picked for its low population density, uncongested airspace, and high elevation."
Not much to look at just yet, but if you'd like to drive out before things start jumpin' Mike McConnell has some directions including a warning about snakes. Well if you love rocketships you're not going to let a few rattle snakes run you off. (Do I hear any lawyer jokes?)

No press release yet from the spaceport's "anchor tenant" Virgin Glactic but Sir Richard Branson must be delighted.

As Governor Richardson
boasted, "Clearly, we are leading the pack in the race to space against states like Florida, Oklahoma, California, and Texas. New Mexico can be very proud of the role we are taking in the Second Space Age."

Just remember the New Mexico state motto: Crescit eundo. (It grows as it goes.)

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