Regional
6:39 pm
Mon October 26, 2009

Spaceport Visitor Center Approved

Truth or Consequences – The Board of Directors of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) has voted to establish a welcome center for Spaceport America in downtown Truth or Consequences (T or C).

With the support of local residents who want the center to be located downtown, the NMSA has agreed to lease an old fire station from the T or C city government.

A welcome center is also planned for the village of Hatch which is on the southern approach to Spaceport America.

"We budgeted $500,000 for the Sierra County/T or C welcome center, and we will review renovating the approximately 6,000-square foot firehouse if we can," said Steve Landeene, Executive Director of the NMSA.

If the building can't be renovated economically, other options for the site may need to be explored.

The city of T or C will invest $175,000 to grade and construct parking facilities capable of supporting a minimum of fifty spaces for the welcome center.

The fire station location is highly visible in the downtown area. "The people of T or C are doing a great job reviving their downtown, and we're excited that Spaceport America can be a part of it by making this long-term investment," said Landeene.

Currently under construction, Spaceport America is the world's first purpose-built commercial space facility. Spaceport America has been working closely with leading aerospace firms such as Virgin Galactic, Lockheed Martin, Moog-FTS, UP Aerospace, and Armadillo Aerospace to develop commercial spaceflight. Spaceport America's 10,000-foot long runway is now under construction and is expected to be complete by late summer 2010 with the Terminal Hangar Facility projected to be complete by early 2011.