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Spaceport license renewed

LAS CRUCES – The Federal Aviation Administration has renewed Spaceport America’s license to operate as a launch site, the New Mexico Spaceport Authority said Thursday.

The FAA requires a launch site operator license for spaceports hosting licensed vertical and horizontal launches. Seven other U.S. spaceports hold active launch site licenses, including two in California, two in Florida and one each in Alaska, Virginia and Oklahoma.

Spaceport Executive Director Christine Anderson said in a statement that the spaceport has “worked hard to grow our launch customer base” since receiving its first license in 2008.

The spaceport is awaiting the arrival of Virgin Galactic and SpaceX launches this year.

Virgin Galactic is still testing its spacecraft at its Mojave, Calif., location, while SpaceX is preparing to begin high-altitude testing of its reusable rocket at the spaceport.

Spaceport America’s current five-year license expires on Dec. 14, 2018.



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