UPDATE: Just got a call from Spaceport America. Here’s what they say is going on:
Follow the Sun Tours was running tours of the spaceport from the visitors center in Truth or Consequences. Tourists signed up online or arrived in person. The company also brings in tour groups on coaches from Albuquerque and El Paso.
Follow the Sun Tours will continue to bus in tourists from Albuquerque. The spaceport authority has lined up a new tour company to handle the tours from the visitors center in Truth or Consequences. An announcement will be made soon about the new tour company and an upgraded visitor experience.
For a while, people could at least get a tour of the futuristic facility until now. Follow the Sun Tours Inc. notified the City of Truth or Consequences in December it could no longer provide tours for Spaceport America.
4 Investigates asked Spaceport America when tours will relaunch. A representative over the phone told said they will try to relaunch tours in May once a new tour company is secured. Then KOB-TV was told Spaceport America only wanted to do “positive” stories with the station.
Meanwhile, seniors in Truth or Consequences are furious they had to give up their recreation space at the Lee Belle Johnson Center for the now non-existent tours….
The senior recreation center has been relocated to the city’s civic center.
A measure to hide certain details of Spaceport America’s business dealings from public scrutiny is making its way through the New Mexico Senate.
The Senate Public Affairs Committee obliged Friday, backing a bill to exclude many spaceport business dealings from the state’s public records law. Its members voted 5-2 to allow the spaceport to withhold information about clients in the space business.
Sens. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, and Liz Stefanics, D-Cerrillos, dissented. Senate Bill 429 heads next to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The spaceport’s executives say confidentiality is key to attracting business in the fiercely competitive industry of space flights for the wealthy and other ventures in aeronautics.
But Steinborn, Stefanics and transparency advocates say the bill would block from public view parts of a project that critics have lambasted as a boondoggle.
“The taxpayers of this state have already given hundreds of millions of dollars to the spaceport project,” Greg Williams, president of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, told the Public Affairs Committee. “Our citizens certainly have a great interest in how it is operated going forward.”
SPACEPORT AMERICA, NM, March 10, 2017 (Boeing PR) – Boeing test teams reached a significant milestone for the CST-100 Starliner program by testing the parachute system Starliner will use on its return to Earth.
SPACEPORT AMERICA, NM, February 14, 2017 (NMSA PR) – Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport located in southern New Mexico in the USA, and FieldTripZoom, a live and interactive educational content platform for K-12 classrooms, today announced their partnership to make a range of Spaceport America STEM and other educational content available to every K-12 classroom across the State of New Mexico – free of charge.
A project to improve a 24-mile dirt road to Spaceport America is moving forward, the Las Cruces Sun-News reports.
Doña Ana County commissioners in mid-December OK’d an agreement with several government entities involved in the southern-road project that spells out its parameters and how historical and cultural sites will be protected during construction. (more…)
SPACEPORT AMERICA, NM (Press Release) –Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport located in southern New Mexico in the USA and the Experimental Rocket Sounding Association (ESRA), today announced inauguration of the annual Spaceport America Cup.
SPACEPORT AMERICA, NM, September 22, 2016 (Spaceport America PR) – Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport located in southern New Mexico in the USA, today announced that the New Mexico Spaceport Authority Board of Directors has selected Daniel Hicks as the new Chief Executive Officer.
The announcement follows a search by the New Mexico Spaceport Authority Board’s Search Committee to identify a new CEO, following the retirement of Christine Anderson, who previously held the position since 2011.
The final step took place today when the New Mexico Spaceport Authority Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Daniel Hicks as Spaceport America’s Chief Executive Officer.
Virgin Galactic and the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS) are teaming to hold a diversity in the workplace workshop at Spaceport America on Oct. 14.
The SUMMIT: The Power of Inclusion “is a highly interactive workshop experience held at Virgin Galactic’s operating base at the Gateway to Space facility at Spaceport America in New Mexico on Friday, October 14th. We will be incorporating experience with short, informative, and surprising truths about why some teams thrive and others falter,” according to the ISPCS website. “The event will provide insights and tools for personal growth, learning and empowerment. The agenda will energize us as we identify and prioritize what each of us wants to bring into our workplace in the year ahead.”
SPACEPORT AMERICA, NM, August 15, 2016 (Spaceport America PR) – Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport located in southern New Mexico in the USA announced today the introduction of five annual Spaceport America branded signature events.
Las Cruces Sun-News has a story. Anderson says she only wanted to do the job for a year, and it’s been 5.5 years.
UPDATE: Aaron Prescott, who was director of business development/business operations, also departed earlier this month. Aaron had been in that position since 2011, and had been at the spaceport in various posts for a total of eight years.
Aaron recently got married. So congratulations to him!
UPDATE No. 2: The Associated Press has a story that provides a bit more detail:
“Spaceport America is finally reaching its prime and the momentum must continue,” she wrote, pointing to more than two dozen vertical launches, agreements with new tenants and a more diverse business plan. “It’s important to ensure all the progress we have made will continue and thrive under new leadership.”
Anderson’s last day will be Aug. 19. She offered to help the board and the governor’s office find a qualified candidate to take the helm of the agency….
While there’s no firm date for Virgin Galactic to begin commercial flights, Anderson said earlier this year that the company could be launching as soon as the 2018 fiscal year.