Ear to the ground

“What was it before, beige?”

-Local woman reacting to an announcement that Homeland Security had just ratcheted the terror alert level up to “orange.”

Just shy of blast off

New Mexico may not be cut out for space travel. The inaugural rocket launch at Spaceport America, a private facility south of Albuquerque, did not go quite as planned.

The spaceport has been envisioned as a potential boost to the economy in the Land of Enchantment, carrying private payloads into the upper atmosphere and eventually delving into space tourism and “Rocket Racing.”

Prior to the inaugural launch, UP Aerospace, a Connecticut-based company, had already sold a year’s worth of payload space to universities, students and entrepreneurs seeking affordable ways to access the upper atmosphere. 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.

The inaugural launch on Sept. 25 proved to be quite a draw. Hundreds of reporters and spectators turned out to watch New Mexico take its first step into the great beyond.

However, the 20-foot, unmanned SpaceLoft XL rocket did not achieve total lift-off. Seconds after ignition, the rocket wobbled and flew off course. The rocket eventually crashed in the remote New Mexico desert after reaching 40,000 feet, well short of the 70-mile goal.

Also crashing into the desert were experiments from universities and high schools, several payloads from unnamed companies as well as an honorary brick which was going to be used in an Italian soccer stadium.

Give ice a try

Always wanted that stylish hockey mullet, but afraid to ask your stylist? The Durango Fury Hockey team is making it easy for Durango women interested in developing an ice habit. The ladies hockey team is offering a Women’s Give-Hockey-A-Try Day on Oct. 21 at Chapman Rink.

The free event is an ideal opportunity for girls and women to get on the ice in a relaxed environment without having to take out a second mortgage for gear. No previous skating or hockey experience is necessary and donations will benefit the Adaptive Sports Association.

Women’s Give-Hockey-A-Try Day takes place Sat., Oct. 21, from 11 a.m.-1:45 p.m. Gear will be provided, but participants will need to rent or bring their own skates. Space is limited. To sign up, e-mail durangofury@hotmail.com or sign up at the bar at  Cuckoo’s Chicken House.  


In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows