Encyclopedia Astronautica
Spaceport America


Spaceport America was conceived in the early 1990s by the Southwest Space Task Force, a private group of New Mexican space activists. Studies led them to concentrate on 70 square-km of state-owned land, 72 km north of Las Cruces, New Mexico, near a locale known as Upham. In 2003 the governor and state legislature were finally sold on the idea of developing the site as America's premiere inland commercial spaceport.

A year later New Mexico became the host for the X Prize Cup annual spaceflight exhibition. On 13 December 2005, it was announced that Virgin Galactic would undertake a joint venture with New Mexico to construct a $225 million facility to be known as Spaceport America at Upham. The venture was approved by the state legislature and the funding plans signed into law by governor Bill Richardson on 1 March 2006. By the end of 2006 the list of spaceport tenants also included Starchaser Industries, the Rocket Racing League, and Up Aerospace. Up Aerospace made the first rocket launch from the Spaceport on 25 September 2006.

AKA: Upham; Southwest Regional Spaceport.
Location: Upham, New Mexico.
Longitude: -106.9995 deg.
Latitude: 32.8894 deg.
Apogee: 1,389 km (863 mi).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • SpaceLoft Series of commercial suborbital rockets marketed by Up Industries. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • SpaceLoft XL American single-stage commercial sounding rocket. Operational, first launch 2006.09.25. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies

Spaceport America Chronology


2006 September 25 - . 20:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Spaceport America. LV Family: SpaceLoft. Launch Vehicle: SpaceLoft XL. FAILURE: Failure.
2007 April 28 - . 14:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Spaceport America. LV Family: SpaceLoft. Launch Vehicle: SpaceLoft XL. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test / burial mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: UP Aerospace. Apogee: 117 km (72 mi).

2009 May 2 - . 14:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Spaceport America. LV Family: SpaceLoft. Launch Vehicle: SpaceLoft XL. LV Configuration: SpaceLoft XL SpaceLoft SL-3.
  • Education Launch - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

2010 May 4 - . 12:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Spaceport America. LV Family: SpaceLoft. Launch Vehicle: SpaceLoft XL.
  • SpaceLoft SL-4 - . Nation: USA. Agency: UP Aerospace. Apogee: 113 km (70 mi). Summary: Microgravity payload.

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