SpaceX signs lease at Spaceport America

Posted at: 05/07/2013 11:54 AM
Updated at: 05/07/2013 11:55 AM
By: The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico's Spaceport America has landed a new tenant.

Gov. Susana Martinez Tuesday announced that Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, has signed a three-year lease to do testing of its "Grasshopper" reusable rocket at Spaceport America.

SpaceX  is one of the leading developers of rockets and spacecraft and is one of the companies the Spaceport project has been trying to recruit to New Mexico.

Spaceport America Executive Director Christine Anderson says the "Grasshopper" project is moving from McGregor, Texas, to New Mexico because the rocket needs to be tested at higher altitudes.

Richard Branson's space tourism company Virgin Galactic is the anchor tenant at Spaceport but the project has been struggling to attract other businesses. Lawmakers earlier this year passed a law to ease liability on the industry to make the state more competitive.

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