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Spaceport America Cup boosts space industry, Borderland economy

Spaceport America is at the center of innovation in the space industry and it’s in our own back yard.

But it’s not only making an impact on the space industry — it’s also impacting the Borderland economy.

As 124 teams descend on Spaceport America — launching rockets in the third annual Spaceport America Cup — there are 14 countries and 38 states represented.

“And from our own back yard, New Mexico State and the University of New Mexico had some great launches at this cup,” said Chris Lopez of Spaceport America.

But there are also teams from places such as Brazil, Canada, Norway, New York, South Carolina and Great Britain -whose team members flew here with their rocket.

” We put the whole rocket in bubble wrap and it looked like a giant lollipop. So we were carrying it through Manchester airport with a giant lollipop, people giving us funny looks. Getting here has been quite a challenge, ” said Ben Appleby of Sunride Rocket Team.

But the competition has been worth it for them — as well as for the economy of the Borderland.

“With this competition, the restaurants are just packed… We know from the hotel sector, two years in a row as a result of this competition, record hotel bookings have occurred in both Truth or Consequences and Las Cruces,” Lopez said.

Officials with Spaceport America also said they are excited to see all the progress and innovation the competition brings — and they noted New Mexico is in the center of it all as the space age enters the Borderland.

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