LAS CRUCES – Daniel Hicks, just weeks into his tenure as the new chief executive officer of Spaceport America, expressed optimism that the spaceport was on the track to being self-sustaining and addressed the challenges and controversies it faces.
The 57-year-old Las Cruces native replaced Christine Anderson in July as the head of the facility in southern Sierra County, north of Las Cruces, built at a taxpayer-funded expense of roughly $218.5 million.
Hicks has a background in aerospace and roots in southern New Mexico, which he said will help him support the spaceport’s mission of becoming an international hub of testing and commercial spaceflight.
Hicks is a Las Cruces High School graduate and is married to his wife of 16 years, Annette Hicks, also a Las Cruces native and a graduate of Mayfield High. He holds a bachelor in mechanical engineering from New Mexico State University and began his career at White Sands Missile Range in 1982 as a test conductor in the Material Test Directorate. He held leadership positions at WSMR including chief of staff, deputy executive director and, most recently, director of plans.
His salary is expected to be $150,000, according to the letter from the spaceport board offering him the job.
Last week, he took a few minutes to discuss the spaceport.