An article in Wednesday’s edition of the Alamogordo (NM) Daily News paints US Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) as a supporter of space tourism. “I think you’ll find a lot of people lining up” to participate in suborbital space tourist flights, he was quoted as saying during a visit to Alamogordo earlier in the week. He apparently also showed some interest in lining up federal funding to pay for the development of a commercial spaceport in southern New Mexico, which will eventually host the X Prize Cup competitions:
Eventually a spaceport will be built with the landing pad in Sierra County, [state Economic Development Department executive director Peter] Mitchell told Bingaman, but to do that federal funds are critical. The runway cost alone is $86 million, with another $10 million needed for infrastructure and telemetry technology.
“Is this an avenue you can support?” [space commissioner Dwight] Harp asked Bingaman.
“As far as the money, we can explore it,” said Bingaman, immediately directing his staff to begin investigating possibilities.