Spaceport America: Rio Grande Foundation Commentary Left Out Important Information

Apr 4, 2017

Credit Spaceport CEO Daniel Hicks

Commentary: Most everyone in our society these days seems to have an opinion about various topics.  That’s human nature and is actually a very good thing.  It is good for public information and especially in a technical team setting.  Discussing opinions and different perspectives in a collaborative environment is important (if not critical) to achieve the best outcome.  The collaborative environment allows for understanding of the facts, data, or truth.  Many times individuals feel the need to post a commentary in the media about their perspective without understanding the facts. In some cases it can be humorous, because people quickly realize the fallacy of what they read (National Enquirer comes to mind).  In other cases it can be misleading to the public and potentially damaging to an individual or organization.  In most cases I believe the media outlets strive to do a good job of vetting the content of commentaries and opinion for things they know are not valid.  In some cases that doesn’t happen; so the reader should always use discretion when believing a commentary or opinion.  Such is the case this past Friday with a commentary titled Spaceport America Loses Potential Client To Spaceport That Hasn't Been Built by Dowd Muska-Rio Grande Foundation.  The commentary asserts that Spaceport America lost a company known as Space Vector Systems to the Camden Georgia spaceport site which has yet to be built.  The reality is that Space Vector System intends to build multiple stage rocket systems that cannot be supported at Spaceport America.  These type of launch systems must be launched over a broad ocean area for safety reasons.  Camden Georgia may turn out to be a very viable spaceport for Vector and Spaceport America is very supportive of their arrangement.  Spaceport America staff has actually had several discussions with Vector leadership to understand their capability and confirm their technology was not suitable for an inland spaceport. 

Spaceport America has hosted 39 launches from our Vertical Launch Area and 7 launches from our Horizontal Launch Area to date.  We continue to focus on our sub orbital commercial space partners, and also orbital partners developing compatible technologies like returnable boosters, single stage to orbit, and space planes.  We live in exciting and historic times during this rapidly developing phase of the commercial space industry and Spaceport America plays an important role in that evolution as we focus on partnerships that can viably be supported in Southern NM.