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

Las Cruces, NM – Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University will host a reception celebrating Spaceport America’s new home in Las Cruces, as well as a new collaborative agreement between NMSU and Spaceport America.

The reception will take place from 4-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 4605 Research Park Circle, Suite A. Those who wish to attend are asked to RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/aggies-take-flight-with-spaceport-america-tickets-70023424949.

The media are also invited to attend and may RSVP at https://bit.ly/2P6MRYZ.

The reception will also celebrate the signing of a memorandum of agreement between Spaceport America and NMSU to form a collaborative effort to advance student success in the STEM fields, along with research, economic development and community outreach.

“Thanks to the continued leadership of Governor Lujan Grisham, Spaceport America is dedicated to advancing the aerospace industry and enhancing STEM education in our state,” said Dan Hicks, CEO of Spaceport America. “We’re thrilled to be a part of elevating our community’s success with New Mexico State University. Together with NMSU, we will continue to open opportunities for students, businesses, and community members wishing to take full advantage of the growing STEM and aerospace industries within New Mexico. “

Spaceport America is the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport with research, testing, leasing, educational and commercial assets. NMSU is the state’s land-grant and space-grant university, and aims to serve the diverse needs of the state through comprehensive programs in education, research, extension and outreach, and public service. The university’s strategic goals, outlined in the LEADS 2025 strategic plan, are to enhance student success and social mobility; elevate research and creativity; and amplify outreach and economic development.

According to the MOA between Spaceport America and NMSU, the strategic goals of both entities are “mutually supportive, with strong commitment to them by both organizations.”

The agreement will provide co-op and internship opportunities for NMSU students through Spaceport America in fields such as aerospace and tourism; educational events, competitions, workshops and tours for NMSU students at Spaceport America; online and classroom curriculum delivery; and certificate programs for aerospace-related workforce needs. The agreement also allows for research opportunities for NMSU faculty, staff and students, and economic development and community outreach opportunities.

“We are delighted to have Spaceport America on the NMSU campus as part of Arrowhead Park,” said NMSU Chancellor, Dan Arvizu. “Part of NMSU’s strategic plan includes deliberate actions to amplify our efforts in extension and outreach efforts. This is an exciting opportunity for us to help facilitate economic development and entrepreneurship, while leveraging collaborative efforts with industry, corporations, and other key stakeholders.”

For more information about Arrowhead Center, visit https://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/. For more information about Spaceport America, visit https://www.spaceportamerica.com/.

Meta data: Spaceport America and NMSU to form a collaborative effort to advance student success in the STEM fields.

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                                                                        Adriana M. Chávez                

+1.575.202.4524                                                                     +1.575.646.1957                    

media@spaceportamerica.com                                    adchavez@nmsu.edu

https://www.spaceportamerica.com                       

https://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/

Spaceport America, NM – June 27, 2019 –Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport and the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA), announced the University of Washington Society for Advanced Rocket Propulsion as the Champion of the Third Annual Spaceport America Cup. Champions were selected in each category, and the University of Washington team was chosen by judges from the group of category champions as the overall winner.  

From June 18–22, thousands of students and spectators flocked to southern New Mexico from all over the globe, creating an economic and tourism boost for surrounding communities as part of their attendance at the 2019 Spaceport America Cup. This year’s competition was the largest to date, with over 120 teams registered, including a large international presence from 14 different countries.

The weeklong event kicked off on June 18 at the Las Cruces Convention Center, where students displayed their rockets to judges and spectators, and had the opportunity to network with top commercial space companies and recruiters. From June 19–22, students competed, launching liquid, solid and hybrid rockets from Spaceport America’s Vertical Launch Area.

With over 90 rockets launched, the majority reaching their intended altitudes, this year marked more successful launches and increasing ingenuity from students, as well as continually improved experiences for spectators.

“We’re honored to have Spaceport America serve as the host site for the world’s largest intercollegiate rocket engineering competition,” added Dan Hicks, CEO of Spaceport America. “This competition showcases some of the brightest minds of Universities from around the world, and we know that the rockets launched at the Spaceport America Cup are the result of months of hard work and planning. As evidenced by their teamwork, dedication, innovations, and tremendous successes this week, the future workforce of the World’s space industry sector is in good hands!  We congratulate all of the 2019 Rocketeers and extend our deepest gratitude to the sponsors, volunteers, and those who traveled to New Mexico to be a part of the Spaceport America Cup.”

Following the final launch day on Saturday, June 22, students and spectators attended the 2019 Spaceport America Cup award ceremony at the Las Cruces Convention Center, featuring keynote speaker George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company.  He related to the students that they are entering the workforce in such an exciting and perfect time in the Space Industry. He added that while Virgin Galactic will soon pilot the spaceship Unity to bring more astronauts into space; the students at this competition will soon enter the workforce to develop unique capabilities and be responsible for piloting the spaceship known as “Earth” into the future.

Competitors competed in various technical categories of design, payload, and performance objectives. The winner from each of the six categories then competed for the honor of the prestigious Spaceport America Cup, which demonstrates exceptional excellence of achieving their performance objectives. A complete list of this years winners is below: 

Spaceport America Cup Champion:

University of Washington (Team 52), Seattle, Washington

Category Awards for the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition:

10K Commercial Of The Shelf Components:

First Place 10K COTS: University of Sydney (Team 06), Sydney, Australia

Second Place 10K COTS: ETH Zurich (Team 37), Zurich, Switzerland

10K Solid Rocket-Student Research and Developed Components:

First Place 10K Solid SRAD: The George Washington University (Team 01), Washington, DC

Second Place 10K Solid SRAD: West Virginia University (Team 19), Morgantown, West Virginia

10K Hybrid/Liquid Rocket-Student Research and Developed Components:

First Place 10K Hybrid/Liquid SRAD: Polytechnique Montreal (Team 40), Montreal, Canada

Second Place 10K Hybrid/Liquid SRAD: AGH University of Science and Technology (Team 02), Poland

30K Commercial Of The Shelf Components:

First Place 30K COTS: Georgia Institute of Technology (Team 24), Atlanta, Georgia

Second Place 30K COTS: ETS Montreal (Team 04), Montreal, Canada

30K Solid Rocket-Student Research and Developed Components:

First Place 30K Solid SRAD: University of Minnesota Twin Cities (Team 69), Minneapolis, Minnesota

Second Place 30K Solid SRAD: University of Minnesota – Duluth (Team 66), Duluth, Minnesota

30K Hybrid/Liquid Rocket-Student Research and Developed Components:

First Place 30K Hybrid/Liquid: University of Washington (Team 52), Seattle, Washington

Second Place 30K Hybrid/Liquid: University of Waterloo (Team 45), Waterloo, Canada

Payload Category Awards:

First Place: University of Louisville (Team 67), Louisville, Kentucky – Finely Engineered Folding Wing Autonomous UAV

Second Place: Stanford University (Team 29), Palo Alto, CA – Lysozyme Dialysis Crystallization Experiment

Third Place: The George Washington University (Team 1), Washington, DC – VIBE (Vibration Isolation B-field Experiment)

Honorable Mentions:

University of Akron (Team 68), Akron, Ohio – Surveillance System

Brigham Young University (Team 15), Provo, Utah – Cold Gas-Wind Rider System

West Virginia University (Team 19), Morgantown, West Virginia – Space Weather Thin Sat + STEM Partnership

University of Washington (Team 52), Seattle, Washington – Plasmo

University of Central Florida (Team 113), Orlando, Florida – Moondust Experiment

Clark College (Team 91), Vancouver, Washington – Ground Station + 3U Cubesat 

Team Sportsmanship Award: 

Winner: University of Waterloo (Team 45), Waterloo, Canada

Honorable Mention: University of Sydney (Team 06), Sydney, Australia

Team Spirit Award: 

Winner: Samsun University (Team 103), Turkey

Honorable Mention: University of Wisconsin – Platteville (Team 25), Platteville, Wisconsin

Honorary Awards:

Jim Furfaro Award for Technical Excellence: AGH University of Science and Technology (Team 02), Poland

Dr. Gil Moore Award for Innovation: The George Washington University (Team 01), Washington, DC 

Charles Hoult Award for Modeling & Simulation:  Georgia Institute of Technology (Team 24), Atlanta, Georgia

James Barrowman Award for Flight Dynamics: University of Louisville (Team 67), Louisville, Kentucky

The Spaceport America Cup is an annual event that will be held each year during the third week of June. For more information visitspaceportamericacup.com.

For pictures and broll of the event visit the Spaceport America Media Center: https://www.spaceportamerica.com/media/

Photo/Video Credit: Spaceport America.

About Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA)

The Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA) is a partner on the Spaceport America Cup and is a non-profit organization founded in 2003 for the purpose of fostering and promoting engineering knowledge and experience in the field of rocketry. ESRA’s current focus is in the field of experimental sounding rocketry, which they define as between “experimental” or “research” high-power rockets and sounding rockets capable of achieving space altitude, generally defined as 100 km. Visit http://www.soundingrocket.org/for more information.

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, vertical launch complexes, 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, EXOS Aerospace, HyperSciences, and SpinLaunch. Visit https://spaceportamerica.com and http://gatewaytospace.com for more information. Spaceport America is #NewMexicoTRUE.

Follow Spaceport America on

Twitter: @Spaceport_NM

Facebook: @SpaceportNM

Instagram: @spaceport.america

Event photos and video: https://www.spaceportamerica.com/media/

Video/Photo Credit: Spaceport America

Media Contact:

Rosa Banuelos, Spaceport America

1.575.202.4524

media@spaceportamerica.com

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO (May 10, 2019) — At a press conference today at the New Mexico State Capitol Building in Santa Fe, hosted by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Virgin Founder Sir Richard Branson announced that Virgin Galactic’s development and testing program had advanced sufficiently to move the spaceline staff and space vehicles from Mojave, California to their commercial operations headquarters at Spaceport America, New Mexico. The move, which involves more than 100 staff, will commence immediately and continue through the summer, to minimise schooling disruption for families.

Virgin Galactic partnered with New Mexico in an agreement which saw the state complete construction of Spaceport America, the world’s first, purpose-built commercial spaceport, and Virgin Galactic committing to center its commercial spaceflight activities at the facilities once its vehicles and operations were ready for service.

This announcement signals the final countdown to a regular commercial spaceflight service for paying passengers and science research from Spaceport America. It follows the great progress in operational readiness at Spaceport, including the completion of the hanger, offices, fuel farm, warehouse and antenna for telemetry and communications, as well as interior fit-out. It also positions New Mexico on the frontline of technological innovation and, as one of the very few places on Earth that plays host to regular human spaceflight launches, a magnet for inward investment.

Virgin Galactic will reposition its space system consisting of carrier aircraft VMS Eve and spaceship VSS Unity from Mojave, California to Spaceport America over the summer months once cabin interior and other work has been completed by Virgin Galactic’s sister manufacturing organisation, The Spaceship Company (TSC). It will complete its final test flights from New Mexico for commencing a full commercial service for passengers and research payload. TSC will remain based in Mojave where it will continue building Virgin Galactic’s planned fleet of SpaceShipTwo and carrier aircraft WhiteKnightTwo vehicles.

Commenting on the announcement, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said: “Virgin Galactic’s announcement today is an incredibly exciting development for both our state’s economic future and the future of aerospace in general.  With these workers here and with these plans firmly in place, I’m certain New Mexico will serve as the launchpad for the rapid industry growth we’ve been expecting for so many years. Today marks the beginning of the next chapter of aerospace in New Mexico.”​

Sir Richard Branson said: “Our Virgin Galactic adventure has been intertwined with New Mexico and Spaceport America right from the start and our stories have unfolded together. New Mexico delivered on its promise to build a world-first and world-class spaceport. Today, I could not be more excited to announce, that in return, we are now ready to bring New Mexico a world-first, world-class spaceline. Virgin Galactic is coming home to New Mexico where together we will open space to change the world for good.”

George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company said: “The first photograph of Earth from space was taken over New Mexico in October of 1946.  How inspiring and appropriate that the state will soon host the first regular commercial spaceflight service, which will enable thousands of people to see Earth from space with their own eyes.  We are deeply grateful to the citizens and leadership of New Mexico for having the vision to create a better future for their children and all of humanity.”

Dan Hicks, CEO of Spaceport America added, “Going to space and exploring the universe is a team effort.  It takes strong partnerships that are courageous and also vulnerable.  Sir Richard’s visionary leadership to take meaningful risks along with New Mexico leadership’s far-sighted commitment – epitomizes the successful partnerships that are truly needed for the space industry.  I and the rest of the Spaceport America staff are extremely excited to support Virgin Galactic’s continued growth and future success here in New Mexico.”

Virgin Galactic is the world’s first commercial spaceline. Founded by Sir Richard Branson and owned by the Virgin Group and Mubadala Investment Company, Virgin Galactic will transform access to space for the benefit of life on Earth. To date, over 600 men and women from over 50 countries—greater than the total number of humans who have ever been to space—have reserved places to fly on Virgin Galactic’s reusable space launch system, consisting of carrier aircraft WhiteKnightTwo and spacecraft SpaceShipTwo. SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo are manufactured and tested in Mojave, California by its manufacturing partner, The Spaceship Company (TSC). Spaceflight operations will be based at Spaceport America in New Mexico, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport. 

The Spaceship Company (TSC) is Virgin Galactic’s space-system manufacturing organization. Headquartered at Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California, it is building and testing a fleet of WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft and SpaceShipTwo reusable spaceships that, together, form Virgin Galactic’s human spaceflight system. Its team of talented and dedicated engineers, technicians and professionals are drawn together by a willingness to disrupt and challenge the status quo and deliver innovative aerospace solutions to our customers’ needs. TSC’s extensive capabilities encompass preliminary vehicle design and analysis, manufacturing, ground testing, flight testing and post-delivery support.

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SPACEPORT AMERICA, NEW MEXICO (May 7, 2019) —  Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport, and SpinLaunch, an innovative new space company revolutionizing access to space, today celebrated the ground-breaking of SpinLaunch’s future test facility at Spaceport America.

Attending the groundbreaking ceremony was Dan Hicks, CEO, Spaceport America, Alicia Keyes, Cabinet Secretary for Economic Development for the State of New Mexico, and Jonathan Yaney, founder and CEO of SpinLaunch, among New Mexico government and business leaders, and students from area universities.

In January, Spaceport America announced a new lease agreement that will facilitate testing for the new launch company. The new agreement enables SpinLaunch to develop a $7 million construction project, adding 20 new jobs in New Mexico at the Spaceport.

SpinLaunch, which was founded in 2014, and last year announced a $40 million Series A financing round funded by Airbus Ventures, Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins, is developing disruptive launch technology with an environmentally responsible kinetic energy-based launch system that will provide the world’s lowest-cost orbital launch services for the rapidly growing small satellite industry. The responsive launch system will allow for on-demand launches of small satellites in virtually any weather at an order of magnitude lower cost and higher frequency than any existing or proposed launch system.

“We are excited to be developing our first flight test site at Spaceport America,” remarked Jonathan Yaney, CEO, SpinLaunch. “The state of New Mexico historically has been the genesis of innovation in aerospace going back to the early days of rocketry and we are proud to continue this tradition. The commercial space market is expected to grow to a trillion dollar industry within the decade and this new agreement with Spaceport America will expedite our ability to service that emerging market.”

“I’m excited to welcome an innovative company like SpinLaunch to our state,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “Aerospace has tremendous potential as an economic driver, and any step we take that encourages the growth of an industry that can put New Mexicans to work and catalyze our local communities is a very positive development.”

“The citizens of New Mexico have supported Spaceport America to enable a new revolution in space systems,” said Dan Hicks, CEO, Spaceport America. “SpinLaunch, with its new configuration to employ kinetic energy, is truly one of the most exciting new ventures to enter the space industry and we are excited to be part of their growth – and in turn enable the growth of the small satellite market.”

“In New Mexico space is not the final frontier, it’s the next frontier,” said Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes of the Economic Development Department. “We have the facility, we have the talent and we have the air space, to grow the aerospace industry and be a permanent home to SpinLaunch and other companies.”

SpinLaunch is reimagining space launch by revisiting fundamental physics and leveraging proven industrial technologies to create a system that accelerates the launch vehicle to hypersonic speeds using ground-based energy. Applying the initial performance boost from a terrestrial-based launch platform will enable the company to provide a substantially lower cost launch to orbit, multiple times per day.

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 for more information.

Media Contacts:

Spaceport America                                       SpinLaunch

Rosa Banuelos                                               Diane Murphy

+1.575.202.4524                                            +1.310.658.8756

media@spaceportamerica.com                     dmurphy@spinlaunch.com

https://spaceportamerica.com                          www.spinlaunch.com