Gov. Lujan Grisham attends successful Virgin Galactic launch in Southern New Mexico
TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Saturday attended the successful Virgin Galactic launch that made New Mexico the third U.S. state to send humans to space, a culmination of a yearslong effort at Spaceport America and partnership between the company and state.
“After so many years and so much hard work, New Mexico has finally reached the stars,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “Our state’s scientific legacy has been honored by this important achievement, one that took guts and faith and an unwavering belief in what New Mexico can achieve – and indeed is destined to achieve. I can’t wait to see what comes next. We are on the cutting edge, the forefront of innovation, and I plan to do everything in my power to keep us there, taking full advantage of our robust economic and scientific potential. On behalf of proud New Mexicans everywhere, I’m incredibly grateful to so many dedicated and visionary collaborators in this effort, not least Sir Richard Branson and former Governor Bill Richardson, the entire Virgin Galactic team and Spaceport America team who made this long-awaited day possible.”
The Virgin Galactic launch is the latest exciting development in the company’s partnership with and investment in New Mexico and in the state’s storied aerospace history.
In 2019, Sir Richard Branson joined Gov. Lujan Grisham to announce that Virgin Galactic would relocate its headquarters to New Mexico. The company now employs more than 170 individuals in the state. Virgin Galactic has correspondingly expanded its economic footprint in the state, with more than 100 New Mexican companies now part of the company’s supply chain and tens of millions spent with New Mexico companies and in local payroll.
Virgin Galactic has also partnered with New Mexico State University to launch a scholarship that now supports 11 students focusing on STEM studies and is a founding sponsor of the Governor’s STEM Challenge, administered by the Department of Workforce Solutions.
Spaceport America has attracted additional companies, including AeroVironment, SpinLaunch and UP Aerospace, which are investing in the facility’s potential as a hub for aerospace economic development.