View Full Version : International Spaceport in New Mexico

tony hipchest
04-04-2007, 01:05 AM
the tally of the votes is almost in to try and make this happen. its a 25 cent tax increase for every $100 spent.

why do we even need a commercial spaceport?

ive never traveled to japan, but if we launch up into space and land in japan, the trip takes about 45 minutes.

why new mexico?

white sands missle range, and the fact that we lease our airspace out to the german air force shows that we have a valuable resource: clear airspace. one of our most valuable weapons in recent wars (stealth fighters) has been training, and stationed out here for years. new mexico is also an astronomers dream (discovery of pluto). i guess i could even site the roswell aliens, although ive been in the building that the weather balloon was launched from 100+ times.


im all for the commercial spaceport, only because i hope to take a flight into space one day. if it means a quarter on evey c- note i spend, then so be it. if i were 45 miles closer to dona ana county to vote, you can bet i would be at the polls (it seems they had a pretty miserable turnout)

Livinginthe past
04-04-2007, 02:11 AM
The world seems to be getting a little more wise to environmental issues in recent months - I wonder what volume of greenhouse gasses would be released into the atmosphere on a 45 min journey from New Mexico to Japan?

All the same its very exciting and 25 cents on every $100 hardly seems noticeable.

Will 51% be enough to get things rolling, or do they need a larger percentage?

04-04-2007, 07:02 AM
Yeah and being out in the desert it could look like that space port off of star wars what was it called Moss Isley I am all for it.

tony hipchest
04-04-2007, 10:11 AM

it looks like the turnout of 18% of registered voters was much more than anticipated.

Spaceport tax approval hinges on provisional ballots
By Diana M. Alba Sun-News reporter
Article Launched: 04/04/2007 01:00:00 AM MDT

Click photo to enlargeDoa Ana County Commissioner Oscar Vsquez-Butler and Dora... (Sun-News photo by Shari Vialpando)?12?LAS CRUCES — A Do?a Ana County spaceport election will be decided by 541 provisional ballots, which will begin being counted Thursday.

By 11 p.m., "yes" votes outnumbered "no" votes by 204. Ballots in favor of a tax totaled 8,781, or 50.6 percent, while those against accounted for 8,577, or 49.4 percent.

Votes from a polling place at an elementary school had yet to be included, along with the provisional ballots.

"This vote will be decided in the provisional ballots and the canvass that starts Thursday," said county elections supervisor Lynn Ellins.

Provisional votes are a type of ballot cast by voters if they show up at the polls but their names aren't on a voting roster. A canvassing board, which convenes Thursday and could last several days, must go through the provisional votes to determine whether they're valid.

Results will remain unofficial until certified by the county's canvassing board next week.

County residents were asked in Tuesday's election whether to approve a one-quarter of 1 percent sales tax to help build Spaceport America, near Upham in southern Sierra County. The charge would add 25 cents to a $100 purchase, starting Jan. 1.

Soon after the polls closed at 7 p.m., county officials released results from the monthlong early voting period, which ended Saturday.

Tax opponents had a marked advantage. At that time, some 2,247 votes — or 58.8 percent — were against a tax for the spaceport, said a county election official. Another 1,573 votes — or 41.2 percent, were in favor of the tax. Tax supporters gained ground, however, as additional precinct results began to pour in.

Spaceport proponents have said an approval from voters is critical to the $198 million project and a rejection would lead to the death of the project.

Election turnout was light overall, officials said. As of 9:45 p.m., ballots that had been tallied totaled nearly 16,000, about 17 percent of the 95,500 voters in the county. By comparison, turnout for a November 2006 general election was roughly 40 percent.

04-04-2007, 10:17 AM
On a side note, Spacely Sprockets has defeated Cogswell Cogs in a fierce bidding war for the contract to construct the new spaceport.... :chuckle:

tony hipchest
04-04-2007, 10:28 AM
The world seems to be getting a little more wise to environmental issues in recent months - I wonder what volume of greenhouse gasses would be released into the atmosphere on a 45 min journey from New Mexico to Japan?

All the same its very exciting and 25 cents on every $100 hardly seems noticeable.

Will 51% be enough to get things rolling, or do they need a larger percentage?im no rocket scientist by any means but youre looking at greenhouse gasses being emitted through just 20 miles of atmosphere until you reach space as opposed to a plane spewing out its gasses through 3000 miles of atmosphere across the pacific. space travel may be the more enviornmentaly friendly form of travel. your not burning that precious middle eastern oil in space.

for those interested, heres the official website:


litp, im sure youre familiar with british billionaire sir richard branson. his headquarters for virgin galactic is here.

http://www.virgingalactic.com/htmlsite/overview.htm (this is a very compelling read)


Welcome to Virgin Galactic, the worlds first spaceline which offers an experience like no other. I can't wait to be on the inaugural spaceflight with my children, which will surely change our perspective and appreciation on our earth and our lives. I hope Virgin Galactic ignites your imagination as it has mine.
Best Wishes,

Richard Branson


Virgin Galactic?s space flights will initially operate from the Mojave Spaceport, a stunning location in the Californian desert which will afford spectacular views of the Pacific Coast. It is also the home of Burt Rutan?s Scaled Composites, the birth place of SpaceShipOne and where SpaceShipTwo is now being built. It will provide a fitting launch site for this amazing venture.

Virgin Galactic will then establish its headquarters and operate its space flights from the world?s first purpose built commercial spaceport, ?Spaceport America? in New Mexico. Funded by the New Mexico state government and now in course of design and construction, it will provide cutting edge facilities and a wonderful location for fledgling astronauts to realise their dreams. Virgin Galactic is also already looking seriously at other potential spaceport locations around the world, with a view to expanding the enterprise and making the wonder of space travel as accessible to as many people as possible.

04-04-2007, 11:29 AM
It may only take 45 minutes to get to japan but the delays will kill ya and try to find lost luggage....:sofunny:

I hope they get it passed, would be something cool to do in this lifetime.

04-06-2007, 12:23 AM
This is sweet, why would you not pass this?

Is there any word on the final count?

tony hipchest
04-06-2007, 12:59 AM
the provisional vote counting began today. with a 204 deficit and 541 provisional votes to count, its likely this is going to pass. but i will keep you updated.

04-06-2007, 02:42 PM
I am very, very leery about private interests in space. I've seen ideas about giant billboards in orbit, dumping trash in space, but, most worrying is that privatization is always about commercial interest, and will in no way advance science.

tony hipchest
04-18-2007, 10:27 AM

Spaceport Referendum Passes in Dona Ana County

LAS CRUCES – Final design and engineering for Spaceport America will move into “high gear” as a result of passage of the Spaceport Tax in Dona Ana County, according to Rick Homans, chairman of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority and the state’s cabinet secretary for economic development.

“This positive vote ignites the final design, engineering and construction of Spaceport America,” said Homans. “We can now say that Spaceport America is ready for blast off – all systems are go. New Mexico is prepared to launch a whole new era of discovery, exploration and commercial activity in space, on the Moon and beyond. We have nothing but beautiful black sky ahead of us.”

The tax is expected to generate approximately $6.5 million a year for 20-years. Up to 25-percent, $1.6 million, of the revenue will be used to fund math and science programs in the county school system. The other 75 percent, $4.9 million, will be used as a revenue stream to bond approximately $50 million towards the construction of Spaceport America.

Homans said the next two critical milestones for Spaceport America will be the Record of Decision (ROD) on the Environmental Impact Statement, and then receipt of the site operator’s license from the Federal Aviation Administration, expected in the first quarter of 2008.

Homans said he expects the spaceport to be operational by late 2009 or early 2010.

tony hipchest
04-18-2007, 10:29 AM
Astronaut Aldrin plans space travel lottery

Tue Apr 17, 1:02 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, announced plans on Tuesday for a lottery which would send its winner into space in a bid to spread the dream of extraterrestrial travel beyond the super-wealthy.


Aldrin, who followed U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong onto the moon in July 1969, said the lottery would be run through his ShareSpace Foundation, which he set up to promote interest in science and space travel in schools.

Details of the competition are still sketchy, Aldrin said at a space investment conference on Wall Street on Tuesday, with the legal status of selling lottery tickets still to be resolved.

He said the idea was to offer the top prize of a flight into earth's orbit, but it was not yet decided on what spacecraft.

Aldrin added that the winner would have to be over 18 years old and in good physical condition. The prize would not be transferable or salable on eBay.

tony hipchest
04-18-2007, 10:30 AM

Report: Bill Gates Ponders Orbital Flight, Cosmonaut Says
By Tariq Malik
Staff Writer
posted: 11 April 2007
3:40 p.m. ET

American billionaire and Microsoft mogul Bill Gates is eyeing the possibility of his own orbital spaceflight, according to the next commander of the International Space Station (ISS) and Russian news reports.

Russia’s Interfax News Agency reported Wednesday that ISS Expedition 15 commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, a Russian Federal Space Agency cosmonaut, and U.S space tourist Charles Simonyi discussed Gates’ interest in orbital spaceflight from their perch aboard the space station.

“Charles Simonyi told us that Bill Gates plans to conquer space,” Interfax quoted Yurchikhin as saying during a Russian news conference today. “Perhaps some of us will find himself in a company with the Microsoft head in orbit some day.”

Simonyi, 58, is paying an estimated $20 million to $25 million for a 13-day trek to the ISS under an agreement between Russia’s Federal Space Agency and the Virginia-based firm Space Adventures. He is documenting the spaceflight flight via his personal Web site: www.charlesinspace.com.

Space Adventures has brokered orbital flights for Simonyi and four other private spaceflyers since 2001, and is currently the only firm to arrange ISS-bound trips for non-professional astronauts.

Space Adventures spokesperson Stacey Tearne told SPACE.com that the firm has not yet been contacted by Gates about a possible orbital spaceflight, but the company does have its next candidate in mind.

“We will be announcing an identity of our next orbital client,” Tearne said, adding the announcement could come within the next eight weeks.

The firm has secured seats aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft for private spaceflights in 2008 and 2009, Tearne said.

A billionaire in his own right, the Hungary-born Simonyi is a former Microsoft software developer and co-founder of Intentional Software Corp. He is an experienced aircraft pilot and has harbored a lifelong interest in space exploration.

“It’s wonderful that a person first devotes himself entirely to business, making an image, reputation and money, and then easily conquers space,” Interfax quoted Yurchikhin as saying Wednesday. “It’s different for us. We first conquer space and then think about what we’ll do next.”

Simonyi is spending about 11 days aboard the ISS while Yurchikhin and Expedition 15 flight engineer Oleg Kotov relieve the station’s Expedition 14 commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and flight engineer Mikhail Tyurin. A third Expedition 14 astronaut, NASA spaceflyer Sunita Williams, has joined the Expedition 15 cosmonauts for at least part of their six-month mission.

Simonyi and the Expedition 15 crew launched towards the ISS on April 7 aboard their Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft and docked at the orbital laboratory two days later. He will perform a series of experiments for international space agencies, speak with students via HAM radio and enjoy his time in orbit before returning to Earth with the Expedition 14 crew on April 20.

04-18-2007, 10:32 AM
Bill is scouting some real estate up there. Buy a planet maybe?

tony hipchest
04-18-2007, 10:52 AM
Bill is scouting some real estate up there. Buy a planet maybe?why not? he already owns earth and might as well add to his collection.


honestly, if i had bill gates wealth, i would be doing what sir richard of Virgin is, and be a pioneer in civilian space travel. i'd have my own craft.

04-18-2007, 10:56 AM
honestly, if i had bill gates wealth,

"I'll tell you what I'd do, man: two chicks at the same time, man. Damn straight. I always wanted to do that, man. And I think if I were a millionaire I could hook that up, too; 'cause chicks dig dudes with money.".