SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

October 31, 2013

Spaceport America to seek more state money

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Virgin Galactic has again pushed back its estimated start date for launching commercial flights from New Mexico’s Spaceport America. And spaceport officials say they’ll need more state money to make up for lost user fees and visitor revenue at the fledging project.

The spaceport’s director, Christine Anderson, says she plans to ask the Legislature for $7 million to finish paving a road between the facility and Las Cruces because other expenses have eaten into her budget.

The budget assumed that Virgin’s space flights would begin in February 2014, but they’re now slated for August.

The spaceport’s visitor center was expected to open at the end of this year, but the center and its theme-park style, space-related experiences is a year behind.

Virgin Galactic began paying its $1 million a year rent on the facility in January.

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