Ear to the ground

“Oh, that’s too bad. Are you stuck there because of work?”

-A California man reacting to a Durangoan’s answer to the question “Where are you from?”

Spacing out in New Mexico

It’s almost time for blast off in the Land of Enchantment. Construction is nearly complete on the Southwest Regional Spaceport, south of Albuquerque near the town of Truth or Consequences. The site’s first launches are expected later this year.

The spaceport is 27 square miles in size, and contractors have built a 25-by-100-foot launch pad and two portable buildings to house payload assembly and launch control facilities. The facility is expected to see its first launches in the next few months.

UP Aerospace, a Connecticut-based company, will eventually launch 20-foot solid-fuel rockets 70 miles up into the atmosphere from the site. The size and power of UP Aerospace’s rockets vwill allow the company to launch under less-regulated “amateur” status. The company has already sold a year’s worth of payload space to universities, students and entrepreneurs seeking affordable ways to access the upper atmosphere before the rocket plunges back to earth.

The first flight will loft experiments from New Mexico State University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Brown University as well as high school experiments and several payloads from unnamed companies. Also on board will be a brick to be used in an Italian soccer stadium that is under construction.

The spaceport could also see more dramatic launches in coming years. Entrepreneur Richard Branson announced late last year that his space tourism company, Virgin Galactic, will relocate its headquarters to the New Mexico site.

Durango’s blue & orange

Local Broncomania is garnering national attention. U.S. Rep. John Salazar is currently working on getting more Denver Bronco games on Durango television sets, according to a recent report in theRocky Mountain News.

Local constituents have written Salazar complaining about missing Broncos games because of Durango’s Albuquerque-based television schedule. Salazar is not taking the input lightly. He has written the NFL Commissioner and talked with the Federal Communications Commission and Nielsen Media Research, which lumps Durango into Albuquerque’s market.

“The bottom line is helping Broncos fans in Southwest Colorado access Broncos games,” he told the paper.


In this week's issue...

July 18, 2024
Rebuilding Craig

Agreement helps carve a path forward for town long dependent on coal

July 11, 2024
Reining it in

Amid rise in complaints, City embarks on renewed campaign to educate dog owners

July 11, 2024
Rolling retro

Vintage bikes get their day to shine with upcoming swap and sale