What Does a Spaceport Contract Look Like?

Thanks to the SEC EDGAR database, we can examine a complete copy of a spaceport contract. The specific contract is the Spaceport America facilities contract between the New Mexico Spaceport Authority and Virgin Galactic:

Some background –

A spaceport provides facilities and services for the launch and receipt of spacecraft. The United States currently has 13 FAA licensed spaceports. BryceTech has published a full map of all global spaceports which is available here.

Spaceport America in New Mexico is the world’s first purpose built commercial spaceport. The spaceport is licensed by the FAA for horizontal and vertical launches.

Spaceport America and Virgin Galactic Relationship –

The spaceport was built and is operated by the New Mexico state government. Virgin Galactic is the anchor tenant. Virgin Galactic currently pays Spaceport America approximately $5 million a year in rent and user fees.

The facility cost the state government over $220 million. Spaceport America currently operates at a loss with rental and user fees only covering 60% of the costs to operate and maintain. The budget shortfall is paid for by the New Mexico state government.

The state government considers Spaceport America an economic development investment, however there has been discussion of selling the facility and privatizing it. New Mexico is also considering legislation to tax Virgin Galactic tickets to space.

Spaceport America has been controversial from the start –

Spaceport America – Perhaps The Nation’s Most Controversial Spaceport

Spaceport America and Virgin Galactic: The Numbers Never Added Up

Former New Mexico spaceport CFO alleges fraud

Report Concludes Former Spaceport America Director Violated State Laws

Additional information for the curious –

Space Tourism Market Analysis

When Will Virgin Galactic Run Out Of Money?

New Mexico Commercial Space Port Economic Impact Study

New Mexico Space Authority Economic Development Plan, 2013 to 2018

Spaceport America Business Development Plan, 2016 to 2020

Spaceport America Economic and Fiscal Impacts Analysis

Southwest Regional Spaceport Business Plan

Spaceport America 2021 Update

Virgin Galactic EDGAR Records