Space Valley rockets New Mexico forward | Space

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Mar. 4—Amplifying what the Land of Enchantment has to offer in the race to space is the New Mexico Space Valley Coalition’s mission.

New Mexico served as a testing ground for the country’s first astronauts, and nowadays it serves as a base to launch commercial passengers and payloads as well as researchers to space from Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences. The New Mexico Space Valley Coalition is trying to keep the state on the forefront of the space industry, and it’s predicting that the state’s space industry is going to boom in the next decade.

“New Mexico is one of the states that I don’t think a lot of people (have) on their radar for space,” said Bryce Kennedy, space attorney and president of the Association of Commercial Space Professionals. “(Space Valley) has one of the largest contingencies for the industry. Space Valley is really to bring all the different actors together into one unified voice that can shout it out to the ecosystem, ‘Hey, this is what we do. This is what we’re here for,’ and really create a momentum, nationwide and globally.”

New Mexico currently has more than 100 private sector space companies. The Department of Defense space budget is about $12 billion annually for unclassified systems. Kirtland Air Force Base, Air Force Research Laboratory, Space and Missiles Center-Advance Systems and Development Directorate, and Space Rapid Capabilities Office use more than $900 million of that funding each year and employ more than 1,600 people in direct space-related jobs.

Space Valley is one of the largest organizations in New Mexico that advocates for the commercial space industry and acts as an accelerator with a focus on tech development.

“They’re one of these organizations that is a platform and a landing pad for startups that want to come to New Mexico,” Kennedy said. “And they create, from start to finish, a lot of programs to help them really take their tech to the next level.”

A Regional Economic Models Inc. analysis predicts a…

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