NMSA Praises NASA Selection of Suborbital Providers

LAS CRUCES, NM (NMSA PR) – The New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) congratulates the seven companies selected by NASA to provide near-space flight services. In a statement from NASA on August 9, each of these companies will integrate and fly technology payloads to the boundary of space using commercial suborbital launch systems as part of a package of contracts worth a combined total of $10 million. Several of the companies selected have conducted operations from Spaceport America.

As part of NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program, the seven companies selected will receive two-year contracts that will allow NASA to deliver research and technology payloads by drawing from a pool of commercial space companies. The selected companies include: Armadillo Aerospace of Heath, TX; Near Space Corp. of Tillamook, OR; Masten Space Systems of Mojave, CA; UP Aerospace Inc. of Highlands Ranch, CO; Virgin Galactic, anchor tenant at Spaceport America; Whittinghill Aerospace LLC of Camarillo, CA; and XCOR Aerospace of Mojave, CA.

“This is exciting news for the future of the commercial space industry and Spaceport America,” said NMSA Executive Director Christine Anderson. “UP Aerospace, Armadillo Aerospace and Virgin Galactic are already clients of our spaceport, and we are in a unique position to help these companies and the others deliver on their new NASA contracts.”

The State of New Mexico entered into a 20-year lease agreement with Virgin Galactic in 2008. Virgin Galactic is currently developing the world’s first commercial passenger-carrying space vehicle fleet, including the WhiteKnightTwo mother ship and SpaceShipTwo launch vehicle. UP Aerospace has conducted nine launches from Spaceport America since 2006. Armadillo Aerospace began flight testing of multiple vehicles on-site earlier this year.

About Spaceport America

Spaceport America has been providing commercial launch services since 2006. The state-of-the-art launch facility is under construction near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, and while expected to become fully operational in 2012, public preview tours of Spaceport America are now available. Officials at Spaceport America have been working closely with entrepreneurial space leaders like Virgin Galactic, UP Aerospace, and Armadillo Aerospace, as well as established aerospace firms like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Moog-FTS to develop commercial spaceflight at the new facility. The economic impact of launches, tourism and new construction at Spaceport America are already delivering on the promise of economic development to the people of New Mexico.

For more information, please visit: www.spaceportamerica.com

For more information on Preview Tours, please visit: www.ftstours.com