Spaceport America takes off

New Mexico's long term vision to dominate commercial space activities in the U.S. continues to mature. The New Mexico legislature has approved $30 million to fund further development of Spaceport America, and the venture already has a $27 million lease signed with Virgin Atlantic. Virgin plans to base its U.S. commercial space operations there, with tourist flights starting before the end of this decade.

It is an instructive lesson for other communities with tough economic challenges. By almost every measure, New Mexico has had a tough time. But the state worked with what it has in abundance--empty land--and turned it into an asset. It was not money or Federal grants that got this done. It was a clearly articulated vision and the determination and grit to stick with it.

Want to be part of the Space Economy? Move to New Mexico. Some of the best high tech jobs in the country are already beginning to move there: composite materials manufacturing for space craft, space avionics, space and air traffic control, advanced air and spacecraft manufacturing, flight testing, and ground support operations and maintenance, to name a few.

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