In case you missed it, you should check out Heath Haussamen’s five-part series on Spaceport America that ran on nmpolitics.net last week. It’s informative, especially the revelations about how much Spaceport America staff is keeping from the public in violation of state transparency laws.
I read the series with keen interest. A decade or so ago, I covered the legislative debate in Santa Fe over whether the state should fund the Spaceport, and by how much if it did.
It was a doozy, as I recall. On one side, Gov. Bill Richardson and his allies played up the potential for New Mexico to attract thousands of high-wage jobs as it got in on the ground floor of a multi-billion dollar industry — suborbital and orbital space travel. On the other, critics loudly and repeatedly cautioned against New Mexico spending public money on what they viewed, at best, as a gamble with no assured payoff.
In the intervening years, as the Spaceport slowly became a reality in the rural redoubts near Truth or Consequences, then added tenants, then made its first launches, my attention focused elsewhere. Last week’s series helped catch me up on the project and where we stand 10 years on.