Virgin Galactic future at Spaceport uncertain

Posted at: 12/12/2012 1:59 PM
By: JERI CLAUSING Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The deal was sold to New Mexicans in classic Richard Branson fashion.

If taxpayers would build the colorful British businessman a $209 million futuristic spaceport, he would make New Mexico the launching point for his space tourism business.

Now, with Spaceport America nearly complete, a Virgin Galactic official says the company will reassess its agreement if lawmakers don't pass liability exemption laws for its suppliers, raising the possibility the company could take its spacecraft and launch elsewhere.

And state officials acknowledge the company could probably walk away from the deal. Virgin Galactic President and CEO George Whitesides has denied media reports that he has said the company might leave.

But he also did not rule it out. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)