June 25, 2020- Sierra County, New Mexico

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo vehicle, VSS Unity, has completed its second glide flight held at the Spaceport America facility in Southern New Mexico.

New Mexico Spaceport Authority’s Director of Aerospace Operations, Dr. Bill Gutman, said “Virgin Galactic continues to work steadily towards their goal of flying aspiring astronauts to space from New Mexico. We are excited by their progress.”

Spaceport America has experienced delays and cancelations due to the global pandemic but continues to provide essential services as set out by the Governor. Spaceport America’s employees are predominately teleworking from home, with limited staff supporting reduced operations for Spaceport customers.

“While the pandemic has slowed things down across our state, Virgin Galactic and our three other tenants have continued with their essential work. We have now seen two amazing glide flights by Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo in the last two months at our facility,” said Spaceport America’s Director of Site Operations, Chris Lopez.

Recently, Spaceport America welcomed two new related tenants, HAPSMobile Inc., a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp. and minority-owned by AeroVironment, Inc. Their specialized high-altitude aircraft has been assembled at the facility, and testing is due to start in the coming months.

Spaceport America (https://www.spaceportamerica.com) is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, has a rocket friendly environment of 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace, low population density, a 12,000-foot by 200-foot runway, vertical launch complexes, and about 340 days of sunshine and low humidity.

Some of the most respected companies in the commercial space industry are tenants at Spaceport America: Virgin Galactic, HAPS Mobile/ AeroVironmentUP Aerospace, and SpinLaunch, with customers Boeing, EXOS Aerospace and Sugarhouse Aerospace regularly using the complex for testing and launches.

Media Contact for Spaceport America

Alice Carruth, Public Relations Coordinator

(575) 528-8227

media@spaceportamerica.com

June 18, 2020 – HAPSMobile, Inc., a subsidiary of Japan’s telecommunications operator SoftBank Corp., and its partner AeroVironment, Inc. announced new operations center at Spaceport America in New Mexico on June 11.

The companies are developing an unmanned solar-powered High-Altitude Platform Station (HAPS).The stratospheric telecommunications platform, a so-called cell-tower in the sky, is designed to provide better communications to under-served areas, including rural communities.

New Mexico-based construction firm Sandy Jones Contractor was tasked to build the $8 million project at Spaceport America. The project consisted of a 500 x 4,000 foot earthen runway, a seven-acre paved facility, an 80 x 300-foot membrane hangar, and running all the primary power and communication lines needed for the company.

The New Mexico team was able to turn the entire project around in less than four months, employing all local contractors – 65 in total.

“This was one of the largest projects ever built in Sierra County,” said Jones. “Not only did we only use New Mexico workers, all the materials were sourced locally as well. This was a huge boost to our local economy – especially when we’ve been hit so hard with the COVID-19 pandemic. What people don’t understand about the Spaceport is this is just one of the several projects currently underway there.

“This project alone will generate $500,000 in gross receipts tax, and that is huge in this time when our local economy is struggling.”

Jones credits the support his company received from the Governor’s office and various state agencies in having the approvals done in a timely fashion so the project could be completed on time and on budget.

About Spaceport America

Spaceport America (https://www.spaceportamerica.com) is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, has a rocket friendly environment of 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace, low population density, a 12,000-foot runway, vertical launch complexes, and about 340 days of sunshine and low humidity. Some of the most respected companies in the commercial space industry are customers at Spaceport America: Virgin Galactic, Boeing, UP Aerospace, EXOS Aerospace, and SpinLaunch.

Media Contacts:

State of New Mexico
Bruce Krasnow
Bruce.Krasnow@state.nm.us
505-827-0226,
(c)505-795-0119

Spaceport America
Alice Carruth
Alice.Carruth@spaceportamerica.com
575-528-8227

SPACEPORT AMERICA, N.M. – HAPSMobile Inc., a subsidiary of Japan’s telecommunications operator SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) has chosen New Mexico’s Spaceport America for test operations and development of a specialized communications platform designed to provide internet connectivity to hard-to-reach places around the globe, Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced today.

The company, along with its minority owner and aircraft development partner AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), is working on development of the unmanned solar-powered High Altitude Platform Station. The stratospheric telecommunications platform, a so-called cell-tower in the sky, is designed to provide better communications to under-served areas, including rural communities.

A lease for development and flight testing at Spaceport America was signed in March, and an investment into the site is planned.

The work at Spaceport America will help HAPSMobile and AeroVironment obtain government certification for the unmanned aircraft system, which has 260-foot wingspan and is designed to circle in the stratosphere for extended periods of time while carrying a telecommunications payload. It is expected to operate at an altitude of 65,000 feet above sea level.

“This announcement is further evidence that New Mexico’s ambitious vision for Spaceport America is being realized. We’ve always been clear that we were building a platform where visionary companies could develop space-based solutions to all kinds of problems, and it’s gratifying to see that work paying off and to welcome HAPSMobile and AeroVironment to our state,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “We look forward to being home to the world’s first cell tower in the sky.”

The companies said the large swath of restricted airspace at Spaceport America, its weather, and proximity to Las Cruces and New Mexico State University make Spaceport an ideal location for flight testing. They also praised New Mexico’s business climate, aerospace workforce, and technical expertise.

The New Mexico Economic Development Department is supporting the expansion with $500,000 from the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) fund. LEDA was created by the Legislature to assist new and expanding businesses with financial support for land, buildings, or infrastructure.

“The business-friendly environment in New Mexico, along with incentives like LEDA and JTIP help us bring forward thinking companies such as HAPSMobile and AeroVironment to New Mexico,” Cabinet Secretary Keyes said. “Add to that the strong aerospace and engineering workforce cluster and we see an important path forward to grow jobs and diversify the economy.”

“The project is an exciting concept that can positively impact communities and relief efforts throughout the world with internet connectivity. We are tremendously proud to have this program, along with their high-tech staff, as our newest collaborator at the Spaceport,” Daniel Hicks, Executive Director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority, said. “We’ve been discussing this effort for some time and I believe it was Spaceport America’s professional team, our unique capabilities under WSMR’s restricted airspace, along with our strong partnership with EDD that allowed for a successful site selection for this project.”

Sierra County is the fiscal agent for the LEDA grant. County Manager Bruce Swingle said the community is starting to see real benefits from businesses in and around Spaceport America.

“We’re seeing more people coming and going and more revenue from those people coming into town buying gas and going to stores. These are higher paying jobs that help us diversify the economy,” Swingle said. “We will do everything we can to accommodate them.”

About Spaceport America

Spaceport America is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, has a rocket friendly environment of 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace – surface to unlimited, low population density, a 12,000-foot spaceway, and 340 days of sunshine and low humidity. Spaceport America is currently home to four full-time tenants- Virgin Galactic, SpinLaunch, AeroVironment and Up Aerospace. We regularly host testing and launches for other customers including Boeing, Exos Aerospace and Sugarhouse Aerospace.

Media Contacts:

State of New Mexico
Bruce Krasnow
Bruce.Krasnow@state.nm.us
505-827-0226,
(c)505-795-0119

Spaceport America
Alice Carruth
Alice.Carruth@spaceportamerica.com
575-528-8227

LAS CRUCES, N.M.–Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPCE) (“Virgin Galactic” or “the Company”) and The Spaceship Company (“TSC”) today announced the successful completion of its first SpaceShipTwo test flight from Spaceport America.

This glide flight marks the inaugural solo flight of VSS Unity in New Mexico and as such is an important flight test milestone in preparation for commercial service.

On SpaceShipTwo’s flight deck were Dave Mackay and CJ Sturckow who, together with the team in Mission Control, executed some of the key elements of a spaceflight profile. These included take-off and landing along with high-altitude release from the mothership, VMS Eve, which was piloted by Michael Masucci and Kelly Latimer.

The flight took off from the Spaceport America runway, with VSS Unity attached to the carrier aircraft, VMS Eve. The vehicles climbed to an altitude of 50,000ft before Unity was released, at which point VSS Unity flew freely for the first time in New Mexico airspace. The spaceship achieved a glide speed of Mach 0.70 and completed multiple test-points, before touching back down smoothly for a runway landing at Spaceport America.

This test flight was conducted under a set of stringent operational protocols to ensure safety against COVID-19. Its successful execution was made possible by a concerted effort to redesign all the operational elements required for safe flight test while meeting new health and wellness protocols. These protocols include changes to the work areas and procedures to enforce social distancing as advised by state guidelines as well as universal mask usage.

This flight milestone represents a major achievement which has been in the planning since SpaceShipTwo relocated to Virgin Galactic’s New Mexico commercial headquarters in February. Virgin Galactic also fully concluded the relocation of its spaceline operations team and their families to New Mexico.

This glide flight provided the first opportunity to test all the components required to fly the carrier aircraft and spaceship in glide configuration, from a new home base and in new airspace. Dave and CJ performed a series of maneuvers with VSS Unity designed to gather data about performance and handling qualities in order to enhance our aerodynamic modeling and verify against similar maneuvers that were performed earlier in Unity’s test flight program. The flight test also provided an opportunity for the pilots and spaceflight operations team to continue familiarisation with the new airspace around the Gateway to Space and a chance to capture valuable in-flight data and conduct further pilot training.

Friday’s flight successfully completed all test objectives. Virgin Galactic would like to express its thanks to New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA), the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Albuquerque Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), and the FAA Air Traffic Control Center in Albuquerque for smooth coordination and efficient integration.

Preparation for the next flight will now begin, starting with an in depth analysis of today’s flight data.

George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company said, “I’d like to congratulate our team for reaching this flight milestone, especially during these challenging times. I am grateful for the commitment displayed by everyone involved, not only in helping to support relief efforts in both New Mexico and California, but also for the dedication and creativity which will allow us to continue safely towards our goal of commercial launch.”

“Today’s VSS Unity flight is another exciting milestone for Virgin Galactic’s progress in New Mexico. We are extremely happy and proud of Virgin Galactic, not only for today’s success but also for the exceptional way they have integrated into NM and supported the region and State during this stressful time dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Spaceport America and Virgin Galactic have adhered to new guidelines set by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to include social distancing and wearing masks. A big thank you to our foundational partner at Spaceport America!” said Dan Hicks, Executive Director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority.

About Virgin Galactic Holdings

Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. is a vertically integrated aerospace company, pioneering human spaceflight for private individuals and researchers, as well as a manufacturer of advanced air and space vehicles. Using its proprietary and reusable technologies and supported by a distinctive, Virgin-branded customer experience, it is developing a spaceflight system designed to offer customers a unique, multi-day, transformative experience. This culminates in a spaceflight that includes views of Earth from space and several minutes of weightlessness that will launch from Spaceport America, New Mexico. Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company believe that one of the most exciting and significant opportunities of our time lies in the commercial exploration of space and the development of technology that will change the way we travel across the globe in the future. Together we are opening access to space to change the world for good.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this communication. You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described in the “Risk Factors” section of the registration statement on Form S-4 filed in connection with the Business Combination and other documents filed by Virgin Galactic from time to time with the SEC. These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

For media assets:

https://www.image.net/virgingalactic

Contacts
For media inquiries:

VirginGalacticPress@virgingalactic.com

UK, Middle East, Asia, Africa – Ollie Bailey-Pratt
VirginGalacticcorp@fticonsulting.com

US, Canada, South America, Australia – Antonia Gray
VirginGalacticFin@fticonsulting.com

Spaceport America, NM – April 30, 2020 –  While the entire world is in various stages of Stay at Home orders, the team at Spaceport America continues to provide essential services while following State of New Mexico Public Health Orders with guidance from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. All non-essential work has been paused, and the Spaceport America team is continuing to support business operations defined in the Governor’s list of essential services. Most of Spaceport America’s employees are teleworking from home, with limited staff supporting reduced operations for Spaceport customers.

“We have implemented additional screening criteria for all personnel that enter the Spaceport Complex based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations,” said Spaceport America Site Operations Manager, Chris Lopez. “And the Spaceport America Security and Firefighter teams are constantly looking and planning for different scenarios that may impact the safety and security of the personnel and the site.”

Spaceport America CEO Dan Hicks added, “Due to restrictions imposed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have canceled non-essential activities, including our annual Spaceport America Cup, which was scheduled to be held in June. We will continue to work with the Governor’s team to determine when Spaceport America can reopen to the public. Additionally, Spaceport America is grateful to Virgin Galactic for their outstanding community outreach to assist local hospitals and their regional response measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

About Spaceport America:

Media Contact

Alice Carruth, Public Relations Coordinator

(575) 528-8227

media@spaceportamerica.com

Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc., a vertically integrated aerospace company, has successfully completed another vital step on its path to commercial service, relocating SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity, to its commercial headquarters at Spaceport America’s Gateway to Space building.

Dan Hicks, Spaceport America’s Executive Director, congratulated the Virgin Galactic team, saying “This truly is the dawn of a new era for the commercial space sector. We are tremendously proud of our foundational partner Virgin Galactic – as we see and support their historic progress in making human space flight a reality for our beautiful world. The New Mexico and Spaceport America leadership will continue our strong support for our visionary Virgin Galactic teammates; and we are looking forward to an exciting 2020!”

VSS Unity, attached to the carrier aircraft, VMS Eve, made the journey from Mojave, California, where the Company’s manufacturing facilities are based. The vehicle landed at 15:49 MT, where it was greeted by an enthusiastic group of teammates who will operate the spaceship in New Mexico.

This captive carry flight provided an opportunity for engineers to evaluate VSS Unity for over three hours at high altitude and cold temperatures, a longer period of time than is experienced during missions to space. These environmental evaluations of system performance are difficult to replicate at ground level, making captive carry missions a vital component of VSS Unity’s flight test plan.

The flight also provided a valuable opportunity to conduct pilot training and familiarization, with veteran Italian Air Force Test Pilot Nicola ‘Stick’ Pecile joining Chief Pilot Dave ‘Mac’ Mackay in the cockpit of the spaceship for the first time. Nicola is the fifth pilot to complete a flight in VSS Unity. VMS Eve was piloted by Mike ‘Sooch’ Masucci and Frederick ‘CJ’ Sturckow.

The move of the spaceship to Spaceport America marks a key step in the relocation of Virgin Galactic’s to the state of New Mexico. In May 2019, Virgin Galactic announced that as part of this move, approximately 100 teammates would move to New Mexico from Mojave, California, Spaceport America would become operational and the vehicles would be transferred to the Gateway to Space. Today, nearly all of those team members have relocated, the spaceport is operationally ready, and both VMS Eve and VSS Unity have now arrived. Of Virgin Galactic’s total current New Mexico workforce, more than 70 team members have been hired locally, the result of a conscious effort to attract New Mexico- based talent.

“New Mexico is going to be the world’s launchpad for commercial spaceflight,” New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “Today marks another step closer: We will have a genuine Space Valley in Southern New Mexico, a hotbed of innovation and achievement and space tourism development. I congratulate Virgin Galactic’s workers, George Whitesides and Sir Richard Branson on today’s successful flight – and once again I say to them: Welcome to New Mexico, we’re very glad to have you!”

“When Virgin Galactic started moving to New Mexico last year, everyone felt the sheer magnitude of the task ahead, but we were encouraged and excited by the team’s confidence and strong vision for the future,” said George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic. “Today we realized the next step in that dream by bringing our beautiful spaceship to New Mexico. We still have significant work ahead, but we are grateful to all our teammates who have made this day a reality.”

The relocation of VSS Unity to Spaceport America enables the Company to engage in the final stages of its flight test program. This will begin with a number of initial captive carry and glide flights from the new operating base in New Mexico, allowing the spaceflight operations team to familiarize themselves with the airspace and ground control. Once these tests are complete, the team will carry out a number of rocket-powered test flights from Spaceport America to continue the evaluation of VSS Unity’s performance. During this phase, the final spaceship cabin and customer experience evaluations will also be concluded in preparation for the start of commercial spaceflight operations.

The Spaceship Company, Virgin Galactic’s design, testing and manufacturing arm, remains firmly rooted in Mojave, California. While VMS Eve and VSS Unity are now based in New Mexico, they will make periodic journeys back to Mojave to support ground and flight tests of new spaceships, as well as for vehicle maintenance and upgrade activities. There is significant progress being made on the next two spaceships, including achieving the Weight on Wheels milestone for the second spaceship and completing over 50% of the structural and system part fabrication for the third spaceship, which were announced in January.

January 9, 2020 – Yesterday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham kicked off New Mexico’s first Space Valley Summit, an event that brought together the federal and state leaders of New Mexico’s space industry. Facilitated by Dan Hicks, Executive Director of the NM Spaceport Authority, New Mexico State University Chancellor Dr. Dan Arivzu, and Dr. Thomas Cooley, Chief Scientist Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Vehicles Directorate, the group agreed to work together as a “collaboratory” to foster coordination, collaboration, and resource-sharing. The Collaboratory will be a forum in which parties propose, consider and refine ideas, concepts and strategies that promote development of aerospace business and economy in New Mexico; partner to obtain grants, funding and sponsorships and execute research, development, testing and other activities within their respective expertise. 

Approximately 50 people participated in this historic event, including leaders from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, Air Force Research Laboratory, New Mexico State University, New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology, University of New Mexico, White Sands Missile Range, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico National Guard, the Space Rapid Capabilities Office, the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium, New Space New Mexico, Professional Aerospace Contractors Association of New Mexico, and Virgin Galactic. Also present were representatives from Sen. Tom Udall’s office, Sen. Martin Heinrich’s office, and Congresswoman Deb Haaland’s office. 

Governor Lujan Grisham named the space industry as one of her nine economic growth sectors for the state. She was excited to see such a dynamic group of New Mexico leaders come together for the first time committed to advancing the space industry, expected to exceed $3 trillion in the next 20 years. New Mexico is uniquely poised to meet the needs of this growing sector, with an established space launch and testing venue at Spaceport America, world-class universities and national research laboratories, and leading defense and aerospace development agencies.

“New Mexico is truly breaking barriers in the space industry,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “If it can be done anywhere – not just in the country, but in the world – it can be done better and quicker here.” 

Hicks echoed her sentiment. “The objective of this summit was to unite New Mexico’s federal and state agencies in support of our nation’s space sector,” he said. “We did just that and set up a structure to move forward.”

ABOUT SPACEPORT AMERICA

Spaceport America is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, has a rocket friendly environment of 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace, low population density, a 12,000-foot spaceway, and 340 days of sunshine and low humidity. Some of the most respected companies in the commercial space industry are customers at Spaceport America: Virgin Galactic, Boeing, UP Aerospace, EnergeticX, EXOS Aerospace, and SpinLaunch. Visit https://www.spaceportamerica.com for more information.

Media Contact:
Scott McLaughlin
+1.575.640.5249
media@spaceportamerica.com

SPACEPORT AMERICA – December 3, 2019 – With 2019 marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo landing on the moon, as well as major advances being made in the aerospace industry, public interest in space is at an all-time high. To celebrate this renewed interest in space, Spaceport America has launched an e-commerce site, offering Spaceport America and space-themed merchandise.

“The era of Space 2.0 is upon us, with the commercial sector leading the way,” said Dan Hicks, Executive Director of New Mexico Spaceport Authority and CEO of Spaceport America. “Every day we see news stories about space, and the interest is across all sectors of society – students, space enthusiasts, aspiring rocketeers and astronauts, and the general public. As we look ahead to the launch of human spaceflight from Spaceport America next year, we’re thrilled to launch our new e-commerce site, just in time to inspire space lovers this holiday season.”

The shop offers a variety of space-themed items including travel mugs, magnets, keychains, lapel pins, polo and tee shirts, hoodies, caps, luggage tags, space pens and more.

For more information, or to view the shop, visit www.spaceportamerica.com/shop.

ABOUT SPACEPORT AMERICA

Spaceport America is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, has a rocket friendly environment of 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace, low population density, a 12,000-foot spaceway, and 340 days of sunshine and low humidity.

Media Contact:

Rosa Bañuelos                                                                                                          

+1.575.202.4524                                                                                

media@spaceportamerica.com   

https://www.spaceportamerica.com

Spaceport America, NM–November 26, 2019Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport located in southern New Mexico and UP Aerospace, a space launch and flight test service provider based in Highlands Ranch, Colorado with facilities at Spaceport America, announced the successful launch of UP Aerospace’s Space Loft 14 (SL-14) rocket from the Spaceport America Vertical Launch Area on Friday, November 22. With NASA and multiple university programs present, the launch—which was part of the NASA Flight Opportunities Program—marked UP Aerospace’s thirteenth launch from Spaceport America.

The SL-14 Launch Vehicle reached an altitude of 57 miles. Additionally, as a fundamental step in UP Aerospace’s testing of new systems, this mission included a small second stage rocket motor and attitude control system. Advances made with the successful mission of these payloads will be pivotal as UP Aerospace moves toward the launch of their larger orbital vehicle, SPYDER.

In addition to these systems, SL-14 carried an experimental payload that seeks to improve access to space through the use of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology. Using ADS-B for future space launch missions is expected to improve safety and reduce detrimental effects on commercial aviation. Other payloads on the mission also were designed to advance the state-of-the-art in avionics, flight management, and data recording with particular applications for emerging small launch vehicles.

“Last week’s UP Aerospace launch marked huge strides being made in the aerospace industry,” said Daniel Hicks, Chief Executive Officer Spaceport America. “The Space Loft 14 vehicle contained vital technology for UP Aerospace’s upcoming SPYDER launch, which will mark a significant advancement for small companies within the industry. And the ADS-B technology onboard will help to ensure that space flights have every opportunity to launch. We commend UP Aerospace for their visionary efforts and look forward to seeing huge things continue to come from this company.”

About UP Aerospace

UP Aerospace is a space launch and flight test service provider specializing in advanced engineering, launch technology development, and state-of-the-art rapid and low cost launch operations. Our headquarters are located in Highland ranch, Colorado, with launch facilities at Spaceport America in New Mexico. For more information, visit https://www.upaerospace.com.

About Spaceport America

Spaceport America is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, has a rocket friendly environment of 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace, low population density, a 12,000-foot spaceway, and 340 days of sunshine and low humidity. Some of the most respected companies in the commercial space industry are customers at Spaceport America: Virgin Galactic, Boeing, UP Aerospace, HyperSciences, EXOS Aerospace, and SpinLaunch. Visit https://spaceportamerica.com and http://gatewaytospace.com for more information. Spaceport America is #NewMexicoTRUE.

Twitter:  @Spaceport_NM

Facebook: @spaceportNM

Instagram: @spaceport.america

Media Contact:                                                       

Rosa Banuelos                                                                                    

Media Relations                                                       

Spaceport America                                                            

+1.575.202.4524                                                                 

media@spaceportamerica.com

SPACEPORT AMERICA – Melissa Force, General Counsel for New Mexico Spaceport Authority, presented a paper on Space Traffic Management to a large gathering of space law peers at the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) Colloquium as part of the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), held in Washington, D.C. (October 21-25).

But the most notable work she performed throughout the week was organizing a space law competition, with her IISL co-chairs, Skip Smith and Les Tennen, to conduct an annual mock court competition unlike any other.  This year’s competition was based on a hypothetical case involving Moon mining, abandonment of astronauts and damages for loss of life after an explosion. Law schools across the world competed and after months of regional competitions, the four champions of Africa, Europe, North America and Asia gathered at NASA Headquarters to compete in the World Finals.

This competition is an important part of the IISL’s outreach program and its principal mechanism for engaging future generations of space law experts, as recognized by the NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine, who spoke before a packed courtroom and three judges of the International Court of Justice who travelled from the Hague to judge the Finals. The European team, from Slovenia, won the competition, and a Nigerian student representing the African team was judged the best oralist.

 “If not for this competition and Ms. Force’s work with the IISL, there wouldn’t be space lawyers working with the United Nations building cross-national collaborations and partnerships,” said Dan Hicks, Executive Director of New Mexico Spaceport Authority and CEO of Spaceport America. “She not only is making a huge difference for the state of New Mexico, but for the entire space industry in the world.” 

ABOUT SPACEPORT AMERICA

Spaceport America is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, has a rocket friendly environment of 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace, low population density, a 12,000-foot spaceway, and 340 days of sunshine and low humidity.

Media Contact:

Rosa Bañuelos                                                                                                          

+1.575.202.4524                                                                                

media@spaceportamerica.com

https://www.spaceportamerica.com