Yeah, 50. 50!!
Okay, enough about that.
Seems our illustrious governor has decided New Mexico needs a space port. Shoot, we already have Roswell, why not drop another $200M on a spaceport? Aliens = space travel. (?)
Some British entrepreneurs (namely Virgin Galactic - yeah, Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Everythingelse fame.) have decided that a spaceport would do quite nicely out in the middle of southern New Mexico somewhere, yanno way out there by Truth or Consequences or something. Here's the scoop:
For a measely $200,000 (and that's 10% deposit up front mind you), YOU can take a minutes-long trip into space, where you'll feel quite weightless and floaty, and then you come back down to Earth. Over 33,000 people have put a deposit down on their mini missions, totalling about $10M. They plan to take 500 up the first year, and eventually grow to 10,000 a year, with an expected 5,000 astronauts in the next five years.
(image used with permission)
Apparently New Mexico is also planning on hosting the X Prize Cup competition, which will be held annually at our new spaceport. This is supposed to put New Mexico on the map. Virgin won the X Prize Cup last year, and the $10M prize. So away we go...
On top of all that, I just found out we have an official Office of Space Commericialization that was established in 1994 just for this purpose. I wondered where all our tax dollars were going. (Besides our ex-treasurer's slush fund, that is!)
New Mexico is one of the poorest states in the country. There are still more head of cattle than people here, and our cost of living is ENORMOUS as compared to our average wage. The poverty level is well over the national average, and consider all that entails (high crime rate, high domestic violence rate, high drop out rate, high teenage pregnancy rate...) I swear, this is still a mighty cool place to live and visit, but given that, we need to be awfully careful where we invest our tax dollars.
First off, I have kids, I'm terrified of heights and I'm always broke, so space travel was obviously not meant for me.
Secondly, if it brings money here, improves our economy and whatnot, right on.
SIDENOTE: Its supposed to put New Mexico on the map, but most New Mexicans don't want to be on any map, which is why they became New Mexicans in the first place. (I know, that made zero sense, but I swear its true.) Some people like to keep rural areas... well, rural.
BUT (there's always a but) I certainly hope that with this ENORMOUS cash outlay funded by our taxpayers, that there's going to be a huge benefit - to education, specifically.
Okay now - of course I want to know what y'all think - would you go up, if you had the $200K? Even if it was only for half an hour? You get a video to show the grandkids, if that helps.