While the N.M. Legislature works through proposals intended to attract additional customers to Spaceport America with what appears to be a greater optimism than in past years, the facility’s existing anchor tenant, Virgin Galactic, continues to ramp up operations in southern New Mexico.
Virgin Galactic has increased its staffing in Las Cruces to 32 full-time employees, up from 21 in August. Many of those employees are from New Mexico or the border region, said Jonathan Firth, the company’s executive vice president for spaceport and program development.
The company’s Las Cruces office is preparing to move at least 85 additional employees from Mojave, Calif. to Las Cruces once testing of its space vehicle is complete in California, Firth said. That move will come in advance of long-awaited flights of paying customers into suborbital space from New Mexico.