New Mexico SpacePort blasts off

Submitted by acohill on Mon, 09/25/2006 - 09:38

When I first began writing about spaceports two years ago, I got a lot of eyerolling in response. Some economic developers really questioned whether this was something to take seriously. But in just two short years, New Mexico is well on the way to turning the entire economy of the state around.

New Mexico's first commercial space launch will take place this week. Big deal, you say? Nine more are already scheduled for the next year, and the Space Economy is already pumping millions into the state economy. Virgin Galactic plans to use the spaceport for commercial flights that will provide space tourism opportunities in comfortable spaceplanes built by Bert Rutan.

The space stuff is fun, but it is not really the point. A few years ago, by nearly every measure, New Mexico was one of the poorest states in the country. By taking a look at their assets, they determined the one thing they had plenty of--wide open, flat spaces--was good for space industries. They then picked up the ball and ran with it, investing consistently and staying on track, even though a lot of people doubted them. And it is now beginning to pay off.

How about your region? Have you identified your strategic assets and built a plan around a *future* economy--space, energy, knowledge, agriculture? Are you executing consistently, with thoughtful, year after year investments to make the right things happen? If not, why not?

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