Sunday, February 1, 2009

Spaceport America and Sweden announce sister spaceport

Flight at Dawn, Spaceport America

LAS CRUCES, NM – Officials from the New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Spaceport Sweden to align with Spaceport America as ‘Sister Spaceports’. Working in collaboration, the two spaceports will increase global cooperation in the commercial space industry, promote cultural understanding and stimulate local economic development, tourism and education.

Located in Kiruna, Sweden, the European spaceport has a mission similar to that of Spaceport America, the nation’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport. Both spaceports are working with Virgin Galactic, which recently entered into a 20-year lease agreement to build their global headquarters at Spaceport America. Virgin Galactic is also planning to launch from Spaceport Sweden. Kiruna has a history of space exploration as the site of Esrange Space Center, which is the launch pad for sounding rockets, high altitude research balloons, and the test facility for new aerospace systems as well as the world’s busiest civil ground station for satellites.

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson said, “This Memorandum of Understanding is another step forward for Spaceport America and will help us to realize the global potential of commercials space.” The Governors office announced the historic lease agreement with Virgin Galactic on December 31, 2008. NMSA Executive Director Steve Landeene is excited about the explosive growth of the commercial space industry, and the prospect of working with Spaceport Sweden. “The Swedish Space Corporation and Spaceport Sweden are currently executing missions, and it’s exciting to see increasing interest and activity all over the globe for commercial spaceflight,” he said. “This MOU means that both spaceports can work together to develop and promote the commercial space industry.”

Spaceport America and Sweden Announce Sister Spaceport 

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