New Mexico’s state assembly has dramatically scaled back state support for Spaceport America, the launch complex being built north of Las Cruces for the benefit of Virgin Galactic and others.

According to the Las Cruces Sun-News, Spaceport America Director Christine Anderson found out April 27 that state legislators approved $500,000 next year for spaceport operations, or about 57 percent less than the $1.7 million New Mexico is providing during the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

     “The state budget assumed that the spaceport would receive, in addition to the half-million dollars, about $200,000 as part of the first lease payments from Virgin Galactic, the main tenant at Spaceport America, Anderson said. But she said those payments hinge upon the company moving into the under-construction terminal-hangar building in the coming year, which isn’t guaranteed.”