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Spaceport America – Perhaps The Nation’s Most Controversial Spaceport

That was how the report “Commercial Spaceports Still Waiting For Liftoff” characterized Spaceport America in 2018; and judging by the media coverage, Spaceport America continues to live up to that characterization.

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

The spaceport was built and is operated by the New Mexico state . is the anchor tenant. 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.

Unfortunately, Spaceport America has all the makings of a White Elephant.

The spaceport has been controversial since the beginning. The contentious issues include:

  • the amount of tax money invested,
  • ongoing operations and maintenance deficits financed by the government,
  • critical dependency upon the success of Virgin Galactic,
  • lack of transparency,
  • lack of oversight, and
  • fraud.

Some examples of the media coverage follow…

New Mexico's Sad Bet On Space Exploration

Spaceport America: New Mexico's Protracted Gamble On Space Flight

New Mexico Considering Legislation To Sell Spaceport America

Spaceport America Spending Criticized

Sierra County Commissioners Have Blocked Spaceport Tax Board From Exercising Fiscal Oversight For Years

Spaceport America and Virgin Galactic: The Numbers Never Added Up

Transparency Problems Plague Spaceport America

Former New Mexico spaceport CFO alleges fraud

Audit Report Details – New Mexico Spaceport Authority 2020

Report Concludes Former Spaceport America Director Violated State Laws

Former Spaceport CFO Files $200 Million Lawsuit Against State

Virgin Galactic's Struggles Raise Questions About New Mexico Spaceport's Future



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