‘Spaceport America’: 0 for 2016
Commentary: If New Mexico’s spaceport offers “the world an invitation to space,” no one’s RSVPing.
In 2016, the facility launched … nothing. No satellites placed in orbit. No tourists sent on one-of-a-kind journeys. Heck, even UP Aerospace wasn’t able to launch a single sounding rocket last year.
But rest assured, taxpayers, economic-development “visionaries” are doubling down. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that construction “could start late spring or early summer of 2017” on a 24-mile route from the “Upham Exit of Interstate 25 north to Spaceport America.”
Instead of “investing” more in the spaceport, elected officials should be looking to unload the white elephant. While a new version of the bill hasn’t been drafted yet, let’s hope that legislation akin to 2015’s SB 267 reappears. Sponsored by Senator George Munoz (D-Gallup), the bill would have required the development of “a marketing plan that will advertise and promote the sale of Spaceport America to potential national and international buyers.”
In 2005, Virgin Galactic told The Wall Street Journal that it was hoping its first flight would “launch in late 2008 or early 2009.” Eight years later, the wait continues. Can someone please explain the sunk-cost fallacy to the spaceport’s defenders?