Las Cruces Directory Logo
Spaceport America

All About Spaceport America

Las Cruces Directory

The World’s First Purpose Build Commercial Spaceport


Spaceport America

In 2007, state lawmakers in Doña Ana and Sierra counties approved public funding of about $220 million to facilitate the construction of Spaceport America as Virgin Galactic signed a 20-year lease agreement with the promise that flying paying customers into space from southern New Mexico would provide thousands of new jobs in the tech and tourism sectors. While officials were positive that a new commercial space economy would transform southern New Mexico and help the state become less dependent on the oil and gas industry, the investment in Spaceport America is a long way from creating the 5,000 new jobs promised by the-then Gov. Bill Richardson.

Spaceport America has a few teething challenges to overcome. For starters, the commercial space industry is becoming increasingly popular and competitive, which has seen Florida and Virginia among states that are now looking to build partnerships with space companies. Even though the spaceport is prompting tourism maybe even created a few jobs for people in southern New Mexico the state does require a professional study to give the public and its officials a better sense of the economic activity this project is generating.

According to optimistic expert opinion, Spaceport America will be a key port and transportation hub for access to space and for cargo and passengers traveling to various points around the planet. So far, it has had a tangible impact on tourism consequently, hotels and businesses in the area benefit too.

Virgin Galactic

Being Richard Branson’s most ambitious business venture to date, which is the world’s first luxury Spaceport America in Las Cruces, New Mexico and the hub for Virgin’s consumer spaceflights is in full operation. It boasts of a runway stretching nearly two miles long, a futuristic styled terminal hanger, a dome-shaped space operations center, and a preparation area for wealthy travelers to get ready and blast into orbit.

Virgin Galactic will be offering suborbital flights to an altitude of at least 50 miles (80.5 kilometers), where passengers will see a vast swath of the Earth far below and experience a few minutes of weightlessness before the spacecraft glides to a landing, via Aerospace News

It’s good news for people who are willing to spend a whopping $250,000 for a quick trip into suborbital space in 2019. Following two successful test missions of its rocket-powered space plane, Sir Richard Branson and company has announced that he is moving ahead with the deal with New Mexico to move its commercial spaceflight and 100 workers to Spaceport America this summer. Virgin Galactic has only one competitor for spaceflights, a space company called Blue Origin owned by Jeff Bezos who even though hasn’t specified whether he intends to begin launching paying customers, but has so far had several successful un-crewed flights.

Virgin Galactic White Knight two

Even though tickets for commercial space travel won’t come cheap at first but the stratospheric cost of space tourism will become affordable and even beginning to fall into place, thanks to the rise of SpaceX and other upcoming private spaceflight companies. Depending on your finances and destination be prepared to pay up to tens of millions of dollars but for now about 650 people with $250,000 tickets for the suborbital flights, Virgin Galactic will take them to the upper atmosphere and outer space.

Virgin Galactic has had growing pains which included the crash of VSS Enterprise in October of 2014 where the co-pilot was killed and the pilot seriously injured. In 2018 all ticket sales for flights were canceled but they expect ticket sales to resume in the near future. Ticket costs are expected to be higher than the original $250,000 of which nearly 8,000 people have expressed interest by signing up online.

Final Thoughts

Although there have been setbacks these are exciting times with a bright future ahead for the Las Cruces and Dona Ana County area. What are your thoughts on the Spaceport America and what it’s future is for Las Cruces and southern New Mexico? Are you ready to book your flight into space?



Featured Photo Credits: By Land Rover MENA – Land Rover Discovery Sport | Behind the Scenes, CC BY 2.0

Las Cruces Directory

Sign up for our mailing list

Sign Up Today
  • We Love Las Cruces!

    Explore and discover the best places in Las Cruces.

  • Sponsored Ad

    Rio Bravo Media google maps

You Might Also Like...

Check out some of our other posts below.

Riding the Herd with Billy the Kid

The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces has an extensive new exhibit weaving together a many-layered story that led to one of the most infamous periods in New Mexico history. “Riding Herd with Billy the Kid: The Rise of the Cattle Industry in New Mexico” begins with the 1866 cattle drive…

Las Cruces Directory
NM Farm and Ranch Cattle Ranching Exhibit

Las Cruces and Mesilla has been busy with Film Crews

Mesilla Valley has been busy with film crews and movie stars lately. Wow! Seems that when the dust settles there will have been 4 major films produced with some of their filming here in Las Cruces. This is so exciting to see! Some of the movie stars filming here are Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson, Ryan…

Las Cruces Directory
Filming In Mesilla

Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra 2021-2022 Season

Enjoy the upcoming Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra 2021-2022 Season   All shows will take place at the New Mexico State University's Atkinson Recital Hall Directions Purchase Tickets from   The Symphony Performance dates and details are as follows: Classics 1 When:  Saturday, Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. (Doors open at 7:00) and Sunday, Oct.…

Las Cruces Directory
Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra
Click to access the login or register cheese