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Space X bringing new technology to Spaceport America

Published On: Jun 11 2013 11:55:31 PM CDT
Updated On: Jan 15 2014 09:55:23 PM CST

ABC-7's Vanessa de la Vina reports.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -

Spaceport America is well on its way to bringing science fiction to life.

Virgin Galactic's CEO Richard Branson has said his company is eyeing a Christmas launch into space.

Another company moving to the spaceport is working to get humans living on Mars.

Space X signed a three-year lease with the spaceport in May.

The company is bringing brand new technology that is the first of its kind. Company officials said it's the key to a future of people living on different planets.

The company has been testing a ship called the Grasshopper. Space X is hoping the ship will become the first reusable space ship.

"The grasshopper is a 12-story test vehicle that enables us to really simulate a launch of a rocket and then bring it back and land it back on the launch pad," said Space X Spokeswoman Christina Ra.

Ra told ABC-7 this is the first step in reaching the company's ultimate goal.

"Space X was founded to make humanity a multi-planetary civilization. The biggest obstacle to achieve that is really the cost of space travel as well as the reliability. We really think in the long-term this will be the solution to bringing down the cost of space travel and to making more frequent and longer distances possible," she said.

When the company completes testing in McGregor, Texas, it will be using the spaceport in New Mexico to take testing to another level.

"Space X is really excited to move into our next phase of rocket reusability testing at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Particularly, we're able to take our reusable rocket testing to higher altitudes and then a variety of trajectories, which is unique to New Mexico. It really enables us to take our testing program to the next level," Ra said.

"This is phenomenal technology. The work that our companies are doing are so important to advancing the state of the art and the state of the practice," said Christine Anderson, the executive director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority.

As Space X prepares to move in, the spaceport is getting closer to finishing construction.

"Things are moving along well and we're making great progress. We just finished the 12,000-foot runway part and we're making great progress on our visitor's experience, which is our visitor's complex onsite as well as our welcome center in Truth or Consequences," Anderson told ABC-7.

Ra could not share any details on when Space X will starting working in New Mexico. She said it hinges on how testing goes in Texas.

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