On Friday New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson paid a visit to Las Cruces International Airport to participate in a press conference with the Rocket Racing League and Armadillo Aerospace about their new joint venture to develop suborbital vehicles (with support from the state to help develop facilities at the airport for manufacturing the vehicles). At the tail end of the press conference a reporter asked Richardson if he would take a position in an Obama administration.
“I am very happy where I am,” Richardson replied, then added, “But here’s what I want to be sure of: that the Obama Administration is pro-commercial space. [applause] We’re going to push that. We’re going to make sure it’s pro-space: pro-government space but also pro-commercial space. I think it’s in the interest of our national space industry that commercial space be properly developed. So I’ll be an advocate wherever I am, hopefully here still as governor of New Mexico, but you never know.”
Richardson’s visit coincided with Armadillo Aerospace’s effort to win Level One of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge; in fact, the press conference took place as the Armadillo team was on the pad prepping their vehicle for the flight that would win them the $350,000 first prize. Richardson stayed around the flight, which took place a few minutes after the press conference ended, then departed for other commitments in town.