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New Mexico’s Spaceport America Awards Spaceport Master Plan Project to the RS&H Team

May 11, 2023      By Jennifer Nix McGerald, CPSM

Tags: Aerospace, Press Release

[Las Cruces, New Mexico] The New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) has awarded the Spaceport America Master Plan Project to RS&H. Spaceport America and NMSA will partner with RS&H to identify the current and future market opportunities that will drive the success of Spaceport America. The RS&H team encompasses commercial space and aerospace experts supported by two companies, Populous and Zia Engineering & Environmental Consultants, respectively leading key aspects of the future visioning and environmental stewardship that are critical to this important project.

Bird's-eye view of a runwayThe spaceport master plan study will include various considerations for future operations (space and aviation), macro and micro-industry trends, national security space requirements and operations, public and private investments, potential launch vehicles operating from the site, frequency of flights, potential payloads, propellant storage, regulatory trends, and development options for future spaceport operations.

“Commercial space operations are growing at a tremendous rate, and due to the foresight of New Mexico leaders going back more than two decades, Spaceport America is primed for this evolution,” said Scott McLaughlin, Executive Director of NMSA. “The master plan will help sharpen the focus for this journey, concentrating on markets that best fit our substantial and unique competitive advantages – which someday will very likely include orbital launch and reentry.”

The team will engage with local, state, and national aerospace leaders to help guide the sustainable development of Spaceport America. This feedback will help determine ways to meet the needs of high technology companies and entities that form the cornerstone of the burgeoning space industry operating at Spaceport America, while also ensuring the NMSA mission is fulfilled to promote economic development, safety, education, work force, and strong environmental stewardship. These efforts will further position New Mexico and Spaceport America on a critical path forward to support growth in the community and future operations at Spaceport America.

Andrew Nelson, RS&H Vice President of Aerospace noted, “I am looking forward to working with Spaceport America and the State of New Mexico on this important project; but more importantly, I am excited about the opportunity to engage with many local and statewide citizens on the future of Spaceport America.”

Stakeholders will play a critical role in this 12-month effort to develop the master plan as the team works to identify opportunities for growth in New Mexico’s aerospace industry. Public involvement will help define the best path ahead for Spaceport America through a “needs and wants” assessment. In this effort, RS&H will launch a comprehensive outreach campaign to facilitate engagement with key stakeholders.

RS&H is a leader in delivering customized, innovative solutions that are shaping the future of space exploration. This project will add to RS&H’s leading spaceport planning and consulting market services provided to aerospace clients across the nation.

Spaceport America is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex is situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico. It has a rocket friendly environment of 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace, low population density, a 12,000-foot by 200-foot runway, and vertical launch complexes. Since 1995, Spaceport America has provided the aerospace industry with access to restricted airspace for testing and training activities.

About RS&H

Employee-owned, RS&H is one of the nation’s leading architecture, engineering, and consulting firms whose associates work hard every day to create a more connected future where everyone can thrive. We offer an exceptional journey from start to future for clients in aerospace, aviation, corporate, federal, health and science, and transportation. Our integrated teams translate experience into insight, turn challenges into opportunities and build relationships that are as strong as the buildings and infrastructure we deliver together. RS&H can be reached at 1.800.741.2014 or rsandh.com.

About Populous

Populous is a global design and architecture firm with more than 800 people in over 20 offices spanning four continents, with regional centers in Kansas City, London and Brisbane. Throughout our 40-year history, Populous has delivered energized venues, districts and live events that positively transform cities and enrich communities. Populous was founded on its unique ability to amplify the emotional connections between people and place, and we excel at creating experiences that attract diverse groups of people and generate sustainable economic growth. The firm’s comprehensive services include architecture, interior design, event planning and overlay, branded environments, wayfinding and graphics, planning and urban design, landscape architecture, aviation and transport design, hotels and hospitality, and sustainable design consulting. Populous has been recognized with numerous international design awards, including five National American Institute of Architects awards, and has been listed six times as one of Fast Company magazine’s most innovative companies.

About Zia Engineering & Environmental Consultants

Zia is a Las Cruces based professional engineering and environmental consulting firm.  Zia has steadily expanded its capabilities and staff since its inception in 2000 with locations throughout the country.  Zia’s staff has diverse backgrounds with extensive experience in providing engineering and environmental consulting from a broad stakeholder perspective.  We are familiar with and understand the intricacies involved in multi-interest coordination of criteria, procedures, standards, contract processes and expectations.  Zia has been a long-term partner to Spaceport America since its origin for environmental and safety support services. Zia can be reached at 1.575.532.1526 or info@ziaeec.com.

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