The Promise of Spaceport America in the Words of its Supporters

Sir Richard Branson and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. (Credit: Douglas Messier)
Sir Richard Branson and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

“This business will mark a milestone in world history, and it will launch a new space industry — a private space industry, driven by innovators and entrepreneurs and new technologies and bold thinkers.”
— Richard Branson

“What we are calling the second space age will open up a wide range of commercial opportunities, including point-to-point cargo delivery, with personal and business travel.”
— Gov. Bill Richardson

Ten years ago today, Virgin Galactic and New Mexico announced a deal for development what became known as Spaceport America. New Mexico would built a $225-million spaceport with taxpayer’s dollars in the desert near Truth or Consequences. Sir Richard Branson’s new space company would sign a 20-year lease to fly tourists aboard SpaceShipTwo from the facility beginning in 2008.  New Mexico also expected the spaceport to be used by UP Aerospace, Starchaser Industries, and Peter Diamandis’ Rocket Racing League and X Prize Cup.


Space Show Schedule For This Week

This week on The Space Show with David Livingston:

Monday, May 31, 2010, 2-3:30 PM PDT: We welcome Diane Murphy to talk about the Rocket Racing League.

CLASSROOM: Tuesday, June 1, 2010, 7- 8:30 PM PDT: The Space Show Classroom Lesson 9 features Dr. Henry Hertzfeld about civil, government, private, and foreign launch systems, rockets, and more. Co-hosted with Dr. Jim Logan and Dr. John Jurist.

Friday, June 4,, 2010, 9:30-11:30 AM PDT: We welcome Prof. Dr. Kai-Uwe SCHROGL, Director. European Space Policy Institute (ESPI).

CLASSROOM: Sunday, June 6, 12-1:30 PM PDT. The Space Show Classroom Lesson 10 features Dr. Eligar Sadeh on U.S. Space Policy. This Classroom program is co-hosted with Dr. Jim Logan and Dr. John Jurist.

Video: This Week in Space

Miles O’Brien reports on the Rocket Racing League demonstration in Tulsa. Steven Hawking warns us about aliens, The military launches a space shuttle, NASA helps keep an eye on oil slick off Louisiana, and the countdowns are on for Atlantis’s final scheduled flight and Falcon 9’s inaugural flight.

Rocket Racing League Unveils Helmet-Mounted Display for Pilots

Pilots wearing the Targo helmet


Rocket Racing League® (RRL®), a sports and gaming franchise based on competitions of piloted rocket-powered aircraft, and Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq:ESLT) (Elbit Systems), an international leader in helmet-mounted displays, this week announced the successful completion of the first flight campaign of the Targo™Racer, a revolutionary aviator’s helmet mounted display with advanced avionics that will enable RRL pilots to competitively fly RRL’s 3D Raceway-In-The-Sky™ (RITS™).


Rocket Racing League Makes Progress


Rocket Racing League® (RRL®), the world’s first sports and game franchise based on competitions of piloted rocket-powered aircraft, has announced major milestones in the development of the Rocket Racer®, or X-Racer®, the rocket-powered aircraft being developed to compete in the Rocket Racing League. Test flights were conducted at the North Texas Regional Airport (NTRA), marking the first time in history where two private-sector manned rocket-powered vehicles were flown sequentially in the same day by one crew with common ground support equipment in the same airspace.


Air Show in Tulsa to Feature Rocket Racing League


At a Press Conference Tuesday at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium (TASM), Executive Director Jim Bridenstine announced the first-ever QuikTrip Air and Rocket Racing Show, and a new partnership with the Rocket Racing League® – which will highlight the day’s events. The QuikTrip Air and Rocket Show will be held at Tulsa International Airport on Saturday, April 24, 2010, beginning at 9:30am (CT).


Rocket Racing Leagues Gets $5.5 Million; Whitelaw Out as CEO



The Rocket Racing League® today announced the closing of a $5.5 million dollar financing round, ensuring the next phase of development of the league. It also announced the appointment of a new President & CEO and the commencement of manufacturing activities for its next generation Rocket Racer®.

The financing round, led by Augustus Ventures Limited and America’s Cup winner Bill Koch, puts the League on track for execution of its plans to launch the world’s first interactive sport pitting pilot against pilot in manned rocket powered airplanes competing through a Raceway-in-the-Sky.


Rocket Racing League Needs State Money to Build NM Aerospace Research Park

City approves aerospace park
Las Cruces Sun-News

The Las Cruces City Council has unanimously adopted a resolution identifying 182 acres of undeveloped land just south of Las Cruces International Airport for a commercial aerospace business and research park.

Initially, most of the land was projected to be used for aerospace research and development. In October 2006, Rocket Racing League announced intentions to build an aerospace park on 171.35 acres just south of Las Cruces International Airport. But the deadline to formally acquire the land passed on Sunday.