While New Mexicans have been led to believe that their economic futures are tied to the New Mexico Spaceport now being built near Truth or Consequences, the truth is that spaceports are already under development across the nation.
With an already-crowded spaceport field, I read over the weekend in the Albuquerque Journal that Hawaii is the next state that may be entering the fray. According to the report:
If the plan goes forward, tourists would pay $200,000 for a weeklong package including spaceflight training, resort accommodations and short test flights to simulate weightlessness.
At the vacation’s finale, five voyagers would embark on a horizontal takeoff aboard a special rocket plane, climb to 40,000 feet before rockets fire, accelerate to 3,500 mph, coast for a few minutes of weightlessness 62 miles above the Earth, flip over and then return to ground.
While New Mexico’s spaceport will undoubtedly be an early entrant into , it seems highly unlikely that the space industry will be very lucrative for the Land of Enchantment given the ever-increasing number of competitors. Perhaps Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle will give Hawaii taxpayers a break by not releasing funding for that State’s spaceport. Unfortunately, spaceport fever seems to be spreading among elected officials nationwide.