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Another special favor for the Spaceport

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By Merilee Dannemann

 It’s all go for Spaceport America. According to Christine Armstrong, executive director of the Spaceport Authority, 500 people already are signed up to fly into space with Virgin Galactic, at a ticket price of $200,000 apiece. A grand visitor center is scheduled to open in 2013.  
Since the spaceport is several miles from I-25, two welcome centers will be constructed convenient to the highway, and shuttle buses will take visitors from those centers to the spaceport itself. After the current bond issues expire, the facility has a plan to be self-supporting.
New Mexico has to do just one more little thing for the space industry. It’s not quite enough that we built them a spaceport with taxpayer money. The state has to guarantee that their passengers won’t sue them. Or, I should say, their passengers’ heirs, if the passengers  – since we’re speaking plainly – get killed on the trip, whether vaporized by a collision with an asteroid or whatever.  
It’s not the spaceship operators we have to protect. New Mexico has already done that. This next one is for the suppliers to the spaceship operators.  


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