Spaceport in New Mexico?

The Washington Post writes today about the growing effort to build a spaceport in rural New Mexico:

"In a referendum, the people of Las Cruces and surrounding Do?a Ana County will be voting on a proposal to slightly raise their county sales tax, a highly unpopular idea these days. But in return, southern New Mexico, one of the poorest regions in the nation, would jump on a fast track to hosting the world’s first all-commercial spaceport.

If the effort succeeds, a desert valley used by a handful of ranchers could become Spaceport America — a 21st-century portal for thousands of people hoping to blast into space as tourists, explorers, researchers and, maybe someday, as commuters to destinations halfway around the world."

Located near the White Sands Missile Range (& National Monument) and Truth or Consequences, NM, the planned SpacePort America is already set to be one of the main launch points for Richard Bronson’s Virgin Galactic (which we’ve already written about a few times). The controversy, of course, stems from the sales tax increase that would be needed to build the the spaceport which would ad around $0.25 to a $100 purchase, mostly on the backs of poor, area residents, some of whom already live in areas without proper roads, water, or waste removal systems.

We’ll let you know how the vote turns out in the weeks ahead.