New Mexico space companies serve different applications and range in size from large prime contractors to innovative high–tech startups some of which have started via government contracts. Many new companies are starting every day with private investment, such as Descartes Labs and Solstar. New Mexico has over 80 companies working in the space industry including Virgin Galactic, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. Virgin Galactic is gearing up to take tourists to space as the anchor tenant of Spaceport America. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo has already succeeded in reaching an altitude of over 50 miles and is expecting that its first commercial suborbital flights will begin in 2019. Virgin Galactic has over 600 space enthusiasts signed up for its flights, at a cost of $250,000 per person.
New Mexico Space Companies
- Livibility, 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 STEM workforce due to our long history world–class research center having several federal and private sector research institutions.
- The combined number of employees for Air Force Research Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories alone is over 21,000.
- New Mexico’s workforce is also diverse as a majority–minority state with over 45% Hispanic and 5% Native American populations.
Spaceport America: World-class, purpose-built spaceport
- Spaceport America is a world–class facility with significant capabilities for commercial
- 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;
- A 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) in New Mexico: Space Rapid Capabilities Office (Space RCO), the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) with over $900M in annual funding as well as two national laboratories: Sandia National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Air Force Research Laboratory:
851 Civilian & Military Employees
$276M Contracts in NM
Sandia National Laboratories:
$267M to Small Businesses in NM
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL):
9000 Direct Employees
650 Contractor Personnel
Billion Dollars in Annual Budget
New Mexico has a favorable business environment
- Many training and tax incentives for companies to locate to the state.
- Kiplinger calls New Mexico the 8th most friendly tax climate
- New Mexico has a strong presence in the following industries: aerospace and defense, advanced manufacturing, data centers, value–added agriculture, logistics and distribution, technology commercialization, energy and renewable resources, and digital media.
Excellent quality of life:
an attractive feature for motivating businesses to locate to the state.
- A median–priced home in New Mexico, on the other hand, costs $187,100 and the cost
- of living in Albuquerque, NM (which holds 25% of the state’s population) is 5% below the national average.
- New Mexico offers a variety of different activities that can please any appetite: mountain bike, hike, ski, or snowboard.
- Ski in the morning and in the afternoon head back to town and golf.
- Taos, New Mexico was recently ranked as the top trending ski destination in the U.S.14, and No. 8 of “The 25 Coolest Towns in America.”15),
- Travelocity named Albuquerque as the one of the top 10 beer cities in the United States.
- The most famous festival is Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta wherein hundreds of hot air balloons scatter throughout the sky.
Proximity to Funding Markets
The Albuquerque International Sunport provides nonstop service to 24 cities daily via nine commercial carriers, making access to funding markets with little difficulty