AEROSPACE & DEFENSE

New Mexico has a history of fostering a cutting-edge aerospace and space ecosystem. Some of the most important advances in space and aerospace have taken place right here in New Mexico. In New Mexico space, aerospace and defense, and airplane maintenance operations (MRO) are all thriving and it’s easy to see why. New Mexico has an abundance of R&D and testing facilities and is a destination for top talent. Manufacturers in everything from UAV/UAS’s to space parts that have landed on Mars to solar powered satellites have also found success in the state. We understand just what it takes to make the impossible happen.

What's New in New Mexico

‘Dawn of a New Space Age’

BY KEVIN ROBINSON-AVILA / JOURNAL STAFF WRITER July 11th, 2021 – New Mexico took center stage Sunday when Sir Richard Branson

Spaceport America

New Mexico is home to the country’s first purpose-built commercial space launch facility, Spaceport America, and is home to Virgin Galactic, SpaceX and others.

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Vertical Launches

There have been over 300 vertical launches originating from Spaceport America since 2006

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State to Reach Space

New Mexico joins Florida and California as the 3rd state to launch humans into space

New Mexico's Space Industry

New Mexico’s space industry is always innovating. The long history of aerospace and space in New Mexico continues to innovate by creating the first purpose-built commercial space launch facility: Spaceport America.

Spaceport America is the first commercial facility of its kind providing capabilities for commercial space engineering operations, manufacturing, testing, and serving as a launch site. The facility is currently home to leaders in the industry like Virgin Galactic, HAPS Mobile, and SpinLaunch.

  • 6,000 square miles of surface to unlimited, restricted airspace (the white house is the only other location with unlimited restrictions on airspace)
  • 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico for flight and other testing
  • 12,000 by 200 ft. runway
  • 340 days of sunshine and low humidity providing for ideal weather conditions
  • 4,600 feet above sea level, making you that much closer to space in New Mexico
NM is home to three Air Force Bases, White Sands Missile Range, and NMSU’s Physical Science Laboratory.

Unique Advantages for UAV/UAS Companies

New Mexico offers a world-class set of advantages for the UAV/UAS industry. The state provides access to restricted air space, the first FAA approved UAS test center, an ideal climate, and a wealth of experienced talent and research institutions.  

New Mexico also provides key advantages when it comes to manufacturing operations for the UAV/UAS industry. The ­state has a broad talent pipeline with over 180,000 employed in manufacturing operations and a wealth of experienced talent coming from our universities and labs. Our strategic location allows companies to access up to 75% of the U.S. population by road within 2 days. New Mexico has proactively maintained a pro-business environment to support manufacturers as they grow and expand in the state.

NMSU’s UAS Flight Test Center

New Mexico State University’s UAS Flight Center is the first FAA approved UAS testing center in the U.S. providing a unique opportunity for companies in the industry to take advantage of.

  • Access to a 15,000 square ft. hangar at the Las Cruces International Airport that is dedicated to UAS operations
  • Experienced NMSU technical support
  • Fully enclosed UAS propulsion test facility with the capability to control temperature and humidity and capture data via high-tech instruments
  • The NMSU UAS Flight Center owns and operates its own UAS fleet, ranging from small battery powered units to complex higher altitude systems

Commercial MRO/Airplane Maintenance

Commercial operations like MRO or airplane maintenance and storage will find what they need in New Mexico. A pipeline of former military personnel provides the talent to support avionics, maintenance, repair, and component manufacturing operations.

When it comes to MRO, New Mexico has several locations to meet commercial aviation maintenance, storage, refurbishment, and dismantling needs. NM also supports component manufacturing operations and has developed specific training programs to ensure a pipeline of talent for the future.

Military and Defense

New Mexico is home to three U.S. Air Force bases and the White Sands Missile Range, providing access to key resources and experienced talent. This also provides a unique opportunity for contractors and service provider to locate in close proximity to the bases. New Mexico’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) connects New Mexico companies to government contracting opportunities.

Kirtland Air Force Base is located in Albuquerque, NM and occupies 51,558 acres and employs over 23,000 people. Kirtland is also home to the Air Force Research Lab New Mexico, offering some of the of the most innovative STEM opportunities in the country, designed to inspire and cultivate our next generation of innovators.

Cannon Air Force Base is located in Clovis, NM and is under the jurisdiction of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC).

Holloman Air Force Base is located in Alamogordo, NM and supports the nearby White Sands Missile Range. It currently hosts the German Air Force Flying Training Center.

New Mexico Space & Defense Companies