Thursday, May 25, 2006

You Are Here

Last night on CBS Evening News, EDD Cabinet Secretary Rick Homans, Governor Bill Richardson, and Sir Richard Branson shared with correspondent Anthony Mason their vision for the future of space travel and for New Mexico’s spaceport. "We're betting on the second Space Age,” said Homans. “ We're betting this is going to be the launch pad and incubator for an industry that puts man in space to live, work, and play."

Go with Rick Homans and Anthony Mason to the site of New Mexico’s spaceport:

Learn more, and see animated footage of how it might look:

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Virtual Visit to New Mexico's Spaceport

Visit the site of New Mexico's proposed spaceport via CBS Evening News on Wednesday, May 24. CBS Business correspendant Anthony Mason recently visited the spaceport location 30 miles east of Truth or Consequences with camera crew in tow. Locals can watch the segment on KRQE Channel 13 at 5 pm MDT. We'll keep you posted.

Pop Quiz

The image above is:
a) a set design for the upcoming movie X Men: The Last Stand
b) cover art for the 50th Anniversary Edition of Aldous Huxley’s
Brave New World
c) an artist’s concept of a bona fide spaceport, proposed to be built in Singapore

Yep, the correct answer is C. Since New Mexico announced its plans to build its proposed spaceport last December, trends point to what pundits like EDD Cabinet Secretary Rick Homans and Scaled Composites’ Burt Rutan have been saying from the beginning: commercial space isn’t just about New Mexico. It’s a new global industry. and MSNBC are ready to tell you more:

What’s Next? Spaceport Madagascar?

Even the lemurs express wide-eyed disbelief. . . but seriously, before the rumors start, NO ONE is planning a spaceport on this island off the coast of Africa. However, from Singapore to Sheboygan (and no, we’re not making that up), spaceport proposals are on the rise. While New Mexico officials review architects’ designs and expect to announce a winner this summer, Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin, Singapore, and Dubai make their own plans to blast off. The story by Associated Press writer Alicia Chang has been picked up by USA Today, MSNBC, and CNN, among others. Read more:

Friday, May 12, 2006

Big Bang: The Evolution of New Space

X Prize Chairman Peter Diamandis says the commercial spaceflight industry is experiencing a “Darwinian explosion” of suborbital designs, reports the Economist. At this week’s International Space Development Conference, which just wrapped up in L.A., vehicles as diverse as XCOR Aerospace’s Xerus, Rocketplane’s Rocketplane XP, and Blue Origin’s New Shepherd were topics of discussion. Also touted in the article: October’s X Prize Cup in Las Cruces, New Mexico. “All this suggests that spaceflight, if not exactly entering the age of the common man, is at least entering the age of the moderately prosperous enthusiast,” says the magazine. Read the full story:

Friday, May 05, 2006

Back to the Future

NASA is ready to put people on the moon (again) in the next decade. To that end, the organization has collaborated with the X Prize Foundation to offer a prize for a new kind of lunar vehicle.

Teams are now invited to compete for the Lunar Lander Challenge, MSNBC and The Guardian reported today. Prizes totaling $2.5 million will be awarded teams who can simulate trips between the moon and low lunar orbit.

Level 1 requires a craft to take off from a designated launch area, rocket up to 150 feet altitude, hover for 90 seconds, and land precisely on a landing pad 100 meters away. Level 2 ups the ante to a 180-second hover period and a landing on a rocky, simulated lunar surface. Demonstrations are planned for the 2006 X Prize Cup, October 18-21 in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Read more on MSNBC:
Read more in The Gudardian:,,1768276,00.html
Learn more about attending the X Prize Cup:

Gearing Up for the X Prize Cup

Events are already taking shape for the 2006 X Prize Cup, October 18-21 in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The Cup’s flagship event is the $2.5 million Lunar Lander Challenge, a collaboration between the X Prize Foundation and NASA. Also slated are G-force simulators, real spaceships on site, and interactive experiences with robots. To learn more, visit:

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

From the Ground Up

Experts are installing basic infrastructure at the New Mexico spaceport site 30 miles east of Truth or Consequences. Meanwhile, architects are putting the finishing touches on their proposals for the spaceport's design. (Proposals are due to New Mexico officials on Tuesday, May 9.) Next, the proposals will be scored and judged, and the design is expected to be announced this summer. Some hints on what to expect: The state-issued request for proposal says "The look and feel of the spaceport should be remarkable and memorable. . . [it] should be a model for environmentally sensitive construction and include options for renewable energy as a power source."

Meeting of the Minds

Leaders in the New Space Race--including Economic Development's own Cabinet Secretary, Rick Homans--converge on Los Angeles May 4 for the International Space Development Conference. It's an impressive line-up including the first space tourist Dennis Tito; officials from NASA like Shana Dale and Charles Elachi; astronaut Buzz Aldrin; entrepreneurs like Burt Rutan, Elon Musk, Will Whitehorn, and Amir Ansari; X Prize Chairman Dr. Peter Diamandis; astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson; and television personalities Hugh Downs and Bill Nye "the Science Guy". The conference lasts until May 7 and covers topics like exploration, tourism, science, technology, policy, and commerce.