NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico lawmakers and space industry professionals are touting a new partnership they hope will further expand space industry growth in the state. The initiative, called “Unite and Ignite Space,” is a public-private partnership bringing together private companies with government entities including the Air Force Research Lab.
The announcement comes days before Virgin Galactic is expected to conduct the first commercial space flight from Spaceport America. from the New Mexico Spaceport early Sunday morning. During a news conference Thursday morning, New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich (D) highlighted the new partnership as a “habitat for the future ecosystem of space accessibility and commercialization.”
“Not just for New Mexico, this is really the start of something big for our nation and our world,” Sen. Heinrich said. “To see this become a reality, this is the start of something big, this is the future of our state.”
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The “Unite and Ignite Space” partnership is envisioned as a “space innovation hub,” designed to bring together companies with space-related products with potential investors and government entities. The partnership will operate out of an Albuquerque office building near the Sunport, home to NewSpace New Mexico, a non-profit with a mission to “foster an entrepreneurial, business-focused commercial space ecosystem in New Mexico by making connections, advocating for stakeholders, and preparing for the future.”
Along with providing a physical, shared location for space-related companies, the partnership aims to link space-related companies with potential investors and workforce candidates. “It’s not just about physical spaces, it’s about these programs that are going to help the companies get to the resources they need,” said Casey Anglada DeRaad, CEO and founder of NewSpace New Mexico.