1. Headline
  1. Headline

Video: New Mexico launch pad

updated 1/11/2006 4:18:28 PM ET 2006-01-11T21:18:28

State officials signed an agreement that gives a planned spaceport north of Las Cruces access to nearly 15,000 acres of state trust land to begin developing the site.

State Land Commissioner Patrick Lyons and Economic Development Secretary Rick Homans negotiated a right-of-way permit with two ranching families who have held agricultural leases on the Southwest Regional Spaceport site at Upham, N.M., for more than half a century.

The permit is valid until January 2007.

"We truly are on the ground floor of a new industry that will continue our legacy of leadership in space exploration, and the state stands to gain thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of payroll and capital investment," Homans said Wednesday.

New Mexico officials have been working on the idea of a spaceport for 15 years. State officials propose building a $225 million spaceport for private commercial rocket launches.

Last month British entrepreneur Richard Branson said he will use the spaceport as the launching site for space tourism under the banner of his company, Virgin Galactic.

New Mexico's Land Office manages 13 millions acres of state trust land that primarily supports public education with revenue earning on oil and gas production, agricultural leasing and development activities.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Kevin Winter / Getty Images

    In defense of fanny packs, and Matthew McConaughey's style

    8/19/2014 9:49:55 PM +00:00 2014-08-19T21:49:55
  1. Trayvon Martin’s mom pens letter to Brown family

    The mother of Trayvon Martin offered her prayers to the family of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was killed by police in Ferguson, and said that parents of slain children “will no longer be ignored."

    8/19/2014 4:11:46 PM +00:00 2014-08-19T16:11:46
  1. Handout / Reuters file

    Amy Van Dyken-Rouen on the day that changed her life 'forever'

    8/19/2014 4:41:52 PM +00:00 2014-08-19T16:41:52