Dale Amon had already drawn up a list of places to grow his next venture, Immortal Data. “The shortlist winner was clearly Las Cruces,” he said. “I wanted to be at an airport because if you're doing aerospace, you want aerospace people walking past your doors.”
Immortal Data has been at the Las Cruces International Airport since 2019. With about ten employees, some retired with forty years of experience at NASA and Boeing, CEO Amon brings his expertise in aerospace – previously at XCOR Aerospace – to the newly named Las Cruces Innovation & Industrial Park (LCIIP).
Immortal Data creates the black boxes, and other low-cost electronics, for spacecraft. “Each module on the spacecraft carries its own GPS so that you have tracking. If there is an incident, you could trace back to what happened at the time of the breakup,” Amon said.
“The growth of the U.S. space industry is just going bonkers these days,” Amon said. “There is a need for more inexpensive electronics that can work for their spacecraft; most of the new space companies are not yet as big as SpaceX or Blue Origin.”
Immortal Data is one of the 20 companies spread throughout the LCIIP. The City of Las Cruces has prioritized the park’s growth, recruiting businesses that focus on aerospace, aviation, and defense; advanced manufacturing; and value-added agriculture. With over 1,800 acres, there is room for plenty of companies, like Immortal Data, to grow.
Amon is focusing on growth now, including working on a grant from the FAA. But when it’s time to recharge, the Las Cruces amenities nearby help stir up his team’s creativity back in the office.
“If you're dealing with the aerospace industry, you may spend your career in the middle of nowhere,” said Amon. “It's nice to be able to go out to a bar and go out to a movie. When I was in the Mojave Desert, I had a 35-mile drive to go to the theater. The one establishment in town was at the hotel, and it closed early. I was doing nothing except work. That's true in a lot of places.”
“Las Cruces is small enough yet far enough away that there is a safety perimeter,” he said. “But it's still close enough that I can hop in my car and be at work in 15 minutes, or at Spaceport America in 45 minutes. Las Cruces has quality of life but is a still place where you can go watch rockets sending us into the future.”