Each month during 2017, a previous month's postings to New Mexico Space News will be moved to this page. Please use the links on the left to access postings from previous years.
June 21: The Las Cruces Sun-News reported that Spaceport America tenant Pipeline2Space will begin test launches in the next week. The company intends to send small capsules to suborbital space using a pneumatic tube launch system. Visit the P2S website to see how you can send your small cargo to space!
June 20-24: The first annual Spaceport America Cup took place. It is an event of the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition for student rocketry teams. Over 110 teams from colleges and universities in eleven countries launched solid, liquid, and hybrid rockets to target altitudes of 10,000 and 30,000 feet. On June 24, ULA successfully launched its 53-foot-tall Future Heavy rocket.
June 16: Several publications ran stories about ARCA Space Corporation's upcoming launch of its Demonstrator 3 rocket in August at Spaceport America. It will be the first flight test of an aerospike engine, a design that had been considered for the space shuttle. ARCA expects the test flight to reach an altitude of 62 miles. The company plans to use the aerospike engine on its single-stage-to-orbit Haas 2CA rocket, which will be capable of launching small satellites from inland spaceports.
June 1: Virgin Galactic's fifth successful glide test had an "emphasis on proving the spaceship's handling qualities, particularly at low speeds, with more weight on board than previously, and with a centre of gravity shifted towards the back of the vehicle."
May 1: Virgin Galactic conducted the fourth glide test of the new SpaceShipTwo. The flight included the first flight test of the vehicle's feathering system, in which the twin tail booms are raised to stabilize reentry from space.
April 27: The National Space Society announced an upcoming launch of student experiments in its Enterprise In Space program. Middle school students from St. Louis, Missouri, 3-D printed a container to hold their experiments including using the launch heat to melt crayons into space art and exposing maple tree seeds to the space environment. Postgraduate students developed a biological microgravity experiment. The experiments will be launched from Spaceport America on a reusable suborbital SARGE rocket built by EXOS in late May.
March 28: ARCA Space Corporation, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, unveiled its new single-stage rocket, the Haas 2CA. It is capable of launching payloads up to 220 pounds to low-Earth orbit. It will be the first rocket ever to place itself completely into orbit and will be capable of in-orbit refueling for its highly efficient, hydrogen-peroxide and kerosene engine. ARCA is in discussions with Spaceport America about possibly launching from the southern New Mexico spaceport.
March 10: A successful test of the parachute system for the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft was conducted at Spaceport America. The CST-100 Starliner is being developed under NASA's Commercial Crew Program. It is designed to carry up to seven passengers to low-Earth orbit.
March 8: Albuquerque-based solar cell and panel manufacturer SolAero announced that its products are powering 90 percent of the 104 satellites launched February 15 by the Indian Space Research Organization. The SolAero CEO further said that 58 percent of all satellites manufactured globally in 2016 used the company's products.
March 4: Students with the University of Southern California's Rocket Propulsion Laboratory set a record at Spaceport America for altitude achieved by an all-student designed and built rocket. Their Fathom II rocket reached an altitude of 144,000 feet---more than 27 miles.
February 24: Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity successfully completed its third glide-flight test. Rocket-powered tests will begin later this year.
February 22: The University of New Mexico's School of Engineering received a 5-year, $7 million contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory to study, design, and build new materials and devices for electronics in space.
February 14: Spaceport America announced a program allowing New Mexico schools (K-12) to take free virtual field trips and live streaming of STEM content. For a schedule of upcoming events and instructions on registering, see http://spaceportamerica.com/featured-news/155971.
January 24, 2017: Virgin Galactic tweeted an invitation to view their current job openings at https://t.co/ZgX5PHln6o. Eleven jobs are available at their New Mexico in Las Cruces and Spaceport America.
Photo Credits Robert Goddard towing one of his rockets to the launch site near Roswell about 1931, courtesy of NASA.
WhiteKnightTwo carrying SpaceShipTwo at Spaceport America runway dedication flyover, photo by Loretta Hall.