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New Mexico: The Place for Space

Space Companies

There are a variety of space companies in New Mexico that range in size from large prime contractors to innovative high–tech startups, some of which have started via government contracts. New companies are also starting in New Mexico with private investment. New Mexico has over 120 companies working in the space industry. Virgin Galactic, the anchor tenant of Spaceport America, is gearing up to take tourists to space. Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity has successfully flown 5 commercial missions reaching altitudes of over 50 miles. Virgin Galactic has over 600 space enthusiasts signed up for its flights, at a cost of $450,000 per person.

New Mexico Space Companies

Intellectual Capital

  • Livability, an online magazine, ranked Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest city, fourth of 2018’s 10 Best Cities for STEM Workers
  • New Mexico has one of the highest percentages of the total workforce performing STEM jobs
  • The combined number of employees for Air Force Research Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories is over 26,000
  • New Mexico’s workforce is also diverse with over 45% Hispanic and 5% Native American populations

Spaceport America: the first purpose-built spaceport

  • Spaceport America is a world–class facility with significant capabilities for commercial space engineering, manufacturing, testing and launching;
  • 18,000 acres in a remote, sparsely populated area with optionally restricted airspace that minimizes public exposure and protects proprietary technology;
  • 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace;
  • Surface to unlimited – above the White House is the only other location with unlimited restricted airspace in the US;
  • 12,500 foot runway;
  • Excellent weather conditions – over 340 days of sunshine;
  • 4,600 feet closer to space! High desert elevation of 4,600 feet above sea level – increased payload capacity

Kirtland Air Force Base & National Laboratories

New Mexico also has three key Air Force organizations that work in space operating at Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB): the Space Rapid Capabilities Office (Space RCO), the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), and the USSF’s Space Systems Command (SSC). These organizations receive over $900M in annual funding. New Mexico also boasts two Department of Energy national laboratories: Sandia National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

$416M Budget
1101 Civilian & Military Employees
$276M Contracts in NM

Sandia National Laboratory (SNL)

$4.41B Budget
15,530 Employees
$491M to Small Businesses in NM

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)

$4.6B Budget
9,570 Direct Employees
626 Contractor Personnel

Billion Dollars in Annual Budget

Total Employees

New Mexico has a favorable business environment

  • There are many training and tax incentives for companies to relocate to the state
  • New Mexico has a strong presence in the following industries: aerospace & defense, advanced manufacturing, data centers, value–added agriculture, logistics & distribution, technology commercialization, energy & renewable resources, and digital media
  • Learn more about New Mexico’s Business and Economic Climate by visiting the website for New Mexico Economic Development Department
  • The Opportunity Zones program offers three tax incentives for investing in low-income communities through a qualified Opportunity Fund. Find out more at New Mexico Opportunity Zone Hub

New Mexico has an excellent quality of life

  • A median–priced home in New Mexico costs $291,700
  • The cost of living in Albuquerque, NM is 5% below the national average
  • New Mexico offers a variety of outdoor activities that can please any appetite: mountain bike, hike, ski, or snowboard
  • Taos was recently ranked as the the 14th in the list of the top trending ski destination in the U.S. and also ranked #8 of “The 25 Coolest Towns in America.”
  • Our weather is accommodating – you can ski in the morning and play golf in the afternoon
  • Travelocity named Albuquerque as the one of the top 10 beer cities in the United States
  • Albuquerque is famous for the International Balloon Fiesta where hundreds of hot air balloons fill the sky each October

New Mexico offers proximity and access

  • The Albuquerque International Sunport provides nonstop service to 24 cities daily via nine commercial carriers, providing easy access to funding markets
  • New Mexico is crisscrossed by three major interstates, forming efficient grid access to markets inside/out of NM