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Gov./Secretary of Commerce Appointee Bill Richardson Announces New Mexico’s Spaceport America Lease with Virgin Galactic January 4, 2009

Posted by Nick Azer in Uncategorized.
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Bill Richardson, the outgoing Governor of New Mexico and incoming U.S. Secretary of Commerce under Barack Obama’s administration, announced on New Year’s Day that space tourism company Virgin Galactic has officially signed a 20-year lease to base its operations and launches at the under-development Spaceport America in New Mexico, a longtime project of Richardson’s.

This announcement comes soon before the Obama adminstration takes over, facing the challenge of spurring the American economy with new investment and industry.

“I want to thank Virgin Galactic for partnering with us to create a whole new industry that is going to transform the economy of Southern New Mexico–creating thousands of jobs, generating money for education, boosting tourism and attracting other companies and economic opportunities to the area.” –Bill Richardson

‘Transforming economy’, ‘creating thousands of jobs’, ‘a whole new industry’…sounds like the kind of thing America as a whole could use right now. And who will be the point man in the Obama adminstration for spurring industry nationwide?

Well, Mr. Richardson himself, of course.

“Here’s what I want to be sure of … that the Obama administration is pro-commercial space … that the administration is pro-space, pro-government space, pro-commercial space,” Richardson observed.” “Obama Vetting Bill Richardson, Space Enthusiast”, Space. com

“Richardson says he told his aides: “Go after the big one. Go after 5,000 jobs and something to be remembered for. Go after Branson and the spaceport. Politicians are known for talking about 9/11 and gloom and doom, and I like to infuse people with visions of the future and space. It’s bold and risky, but people turn on to that.” “New Mexico Goes a Little Pie in the Sky with Spaceport Idea”, USA Today, 2006.

From this new announcement, and those previous quotes from Richardson, it’s clear that the Obama administration’s Commerce department will be an extremely active supporter of the private space industry, and the potential it could hold for spurring the economy.

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