New Mexico Spaceport Getting $250K from FAA

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Spaceport America said Aug. 26 that it has received a federal grant for the second year in a row to help fund spaceport infrastructure at the southern New Mexico launch and landing facility.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant is worth nearly $250,000 toward the cost of a roll-back vehicle integration building at Spaceport America.

New Mexico Spaceport Authority Executive Director Christine Anderson said the new $500,000 facility will permit Spaceport America to accommodate larger vehicles currently under development with an eye toward using the desert launch facility.

“Currently, we can only accommodate vehicles up to approximately 24 feet (7.3 meters) long and 5 feet (1.5 meters) wide,” Anderson said. “New vehicles under development are much longer, and some have wings for glide recovery. The new roll-back vehicle integration building will let us handle these new vehicles as they come on line.”

The new building will be located inside the Vertical Launch Area of Spaceport America, which last year received a $43,000 matching grant from the FAA to help fund an automated weather observation system.