New Mexico pushes forward with spaceport project

By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN | May 26, 2011 | 5:45 PM EDT

SPACEPORT AMERICA, N.M. (AP) — Speculation about whether New Mexico's support would wane for Spaceport America has been swirling since Gov. Susana Martinez took office in January.

She appointed new leadership for the spaceport authority and vowed to rein in state spending across the board. Still, the governor says New Mexico has made an investment in the taxpayer-financed spaceport and it holds potential for the state.

She's eager to see it succeed, but there's still a way to go before it starts bringing in revenue.

There have been construction delays, code violations and costly change orders.

Spaceport officials say the project is unprecedented and complicated, but they're aiming to finish construction by year's end.

Even anchor tenant Virgin Galactic, the company founded by British billionaire Richard Branson, says things are headed in the right direction.