The future is here. Sales tax increases started today and Virgin Galactic has signed a lease with Spaceport America in southern New Mexico.
Under the terms, Virgin Galactic will pay $1 million per year for the first five years for use of the terminal facilities, and, for the next 15 years, will pay a fee based on an amortization of the remaining total cost of its facilities.
In addition, it sets a tiered fee scale — with a minimum charge of $50,000 per month — that hinges upon the number of flights launched by the company each year. A third fee charges the company $30,000 each year to rent ground space for the facilities.
Creative Commons photo from generated
The first successful launch from spaceport america occurred today.
The rocket launched amid clear weather conditions from Upland, between Las Cruces and Truth or Consequences. The rocket contained the ashes of hundreds of people, among them, James Doohan, the actor who played “scotty” in the popular “Star Trek” series. Also on board were the ashes of L. Gordon Cooper, who was one of NASA’s original Mercury astronauts.
The first launch was a failure, this one had to be successful since it carried the remains of lots of people, including James Doohan “Scotty” from Star Trek.
New Mexico tax payers want to pay for Spaceport America. Las Cruces Sun-News – All votes are tallied, but still unofficial
LAS CRUCES — All votes have now been tallied in this week’s spaceport tax election. Doña Ana County voters approved the tax, with 9,020 voting in favor and 8,750 against. With almost 18,000 taking part in the election, 50.7 percent of voters were in favor of the tax while 49.3 were against. The vote count is unofficial until certified by county commissioners next Tuesday. The one-quarter of 1 percent increase in gross receipts tax will take effect Jan. 1. Proceeds from the tax will be used to help pay for construction of Spaceport America planned for a remote site in southern Sierra County.
Goodbye Southwest Regional Spaceport. Hello Spaceport America. New Mexico officials planned to unveil the new name Monday for a proposed $225 million space hub where British billionaire Sir Richard Branson hopes to send paying tourists on suborbital flights. The previous name was a mouthful to pronounce and didn’t reflect the cutting-edge vision of the project, said New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Rick Homans.
I’m not sure I like the new name. Having a space port is cool no matter what the name.