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space (spās) n. 1. space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.

prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm) n. A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.

Friday, January 13, 2006

New Mexico gets it

This was in the Albuquerque Tribune written by Rick Homan, the New Mexico's secretary of Economic Development and chairman of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority.

It would be shortsighted to think that New Mexico is building a spaceport just to take rich people into space. We are building a spaceport because we know that NASA and other international space agencies will be contracting with the private sector to take passengers and payloads to the International Space Station and the Moon.

We know that as space travel becomes more affordable, government agencies and companies will establish facilities in space to host visitors and conduct zero-G research in exciting new fields such as renewable energy, health care and pharmaceuticals, microsystems and nanotechnology and other industries that will provide significant breakthroughs for life on Earth.

And we know that frequent and repeated access to space is only possible using reusable launch vehicles, and these RLVs need an inland commercial spaceport, just like what we are going to build in New Mexico.

Exactly. This is just a thrill ride for the wealthy and those (like me) who are willing to mortgage there house to see space. This is the first step to industries we can even imagine.

I wonder if the balance of power in this country is shifting. Just as the west coast in the 20th century became an economic & cultural force in this country, I wonder if states like New Mexico are going to wield similar power in the 21st century.

I also found a blog on the New Mexico Spaceport by Mike McConnell. He has detailed (an understatement) directions to the Space sport site.

Mile marker 2.5 miles - Odell Ranch on the right. There is a big cell tower on Odell Ranch. Your cell phone will still work when you get to Upham and few miles further north.

Mile marker 3.3 miles - Cattle guard.

In a Free Mexican article on the spaceport, the AP reports that

What's clear, according to the studies, is that the state must act now. Several other states, including Texas and Oklahoma, are on New Mexico's heels.

So is the entire southwest region is chasing this spacport dream. I had never realized the geography of all the companies.

This isn't just about space either. These initiatives show me that these states are the place for new ideas and free thinking. New industries can be built here. The map below may show the new economic power of the US in the 21st century.

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