Where to next for New Mexico’s Spaceport?

The recent crash of SpaceShipTwo in the Mojave Desert was a tragedy. Unfortunately, the long-term impact on New Mexicans could be quite negative as well. Whatever economic activity we could have expected from the Spaceport is going to be delayed for years according to experts.

Of course, the Rio Grande Foundation has been a long-time critic of taxpayer funding for the Spaceport. I argued in a recent BuzzFeed article that “Space tourism is far more speculative and dubious than anyone actually knows. It’s like building an airport before the Wright Brothers had their first flight. That’s what New Mexico did.”

Unfortunately, those remarks look all-too-prescient today. New Mexico taxpayers will be further placed on the hook for operations and maintenance at the Spaceport in the years ahead in the hopes of keeping the facility prepared for tourist flights that may never come.

Check out the recent story for Channel 13 KRQE on the potential impact the accident will have on New Mexico’s Spaceport. Don’t think this is a relevant topic in terms of the political conversation? Recently, Alan Webber, the runner-up for the Democratic Party’s nomination for Governor and I debated a variety of issues relevant to New Mexico including the Spaceport. Footage of that is below the Channel 13 story and the discussion begins at about the 54:45 mark.

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8 Replies to “Where to next for New Mexico’s Spaceport?”

  1. In a completely fair world, Bill Richardson and the members of the N.M. legislature who voted to fund the pie in the sky Spaceport project would appear on television, heads bowed in shame, asking forgiveness from the citizens of N.M. They would then agree to reimburse the state of New Mexico 218 million dollars out of their own pockets.
    In the less than completely fair world that we live in, one can only hope that those of our politicians with triple figure I.Q.’s will reflect on the funding fiasco, ask why it occurred and vow to never let such a disaster happen again on their legislative watch.

    Spaceport deserves to be known as “Richardson’s Folly,” a 218 million dollar monument to legislative hubris and stupidity in New Mexico.

  2. How about just sell it now at an 75% discount and at get back some of that money back. I’m sure somebody could use it for something.

  3. See if the Air Force wants it. If not, pull the plug. Sunk costs are sunk.

    And since voters have saddled Nw Mexico with two senators both in the minority party, our ability to get any help from DC is nil.

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