There are many reasons why the world’s premier aerospace companies do business in New Mexico. Here are just a few:

  • Ideal flying weather – 310 days of sunshine per year means minimal delays due to weather conditions, and the combination of high altitude and dry air lowers fuel costs and lessens conditions for corrosion.
  • Superior launch opportunity – low air traffic and restricted airspace adjacent to White Sands Missile Range.
  • Land – New Mexico is the fifth largest state geographically with a very low population density of only 17 persons per square mile.
  • People – Companies like Meta rave about our workforce and JTIP helps trains them.
  • Flight testing – Three test facilities.
  • Track record – Robert Goddard, Wernher von Braun, and NASA all chose New Mexico to conduct their research.
  • Critical research – Specific to the Industry at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Directorate.
  • Great tax climate – Low property tax, no inventory tax, industry-specific incentive programs.

Air Force Presence

New Mexico is home to three Air Force Bases: Cannon, Holloman and Kirtland

Aerospace Research, Testing and Development

Spaceport America

Aerospace companies are conducting pioneering research at Spaceport America (SA), the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. SA is an FAA-licensed launch complex situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range and 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace.  It is a unique, perfect environment for these pioneers. The complex infrastructure includes both Vertical and Horizontal Launch Areas, with a 12,000-ft runway, an Automated Weather Observing System immediately adjacent to the main runway, and 24/7 security and on-site emergency fire and rescue equipment and personnel.



Spaceport America provides full support for on-site space-related manufacturing including solid motor manufacturing and testing, rocket structural component fabrication and machining, payload design, fabrication, and testing, and 3-D printing of rocket and payload components. 

SA has paved access to Interstate Highways 10 and 25.

Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

AFRL is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. It plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. AFRL-Kirtland develops and transitions technologies in four core technical competencies: laser systems, high power electromagnetics, weapons modeling and simulation, and directed energy and electro-optics for space superiority. AFRL-Kirtland includes the Space Vehicles Directorate.  

In November 2022 AFRL began construction on the Facility for Radiation Tolerance Research on Electronics for Space and Strategic Systems (FORTRESS), a 6,200-square-foot facility located adjacent to the Space Vehicles Directorate Deployable Structures Laboratory. The facility is designed to enable AFRL researchers to investigate and develop solutions for trusted, high-performance electronic components with necessary space and strategic-hardening to ensure the survivability of key U.S. Space Force and Air Force systems in harsh, natural and man-made environments.

Physical Science Lab (PSL) at New Mexico State University

PSL was founded in 1946 in response to the nation’s space and rocket programs. PSL staff are primarily applied hardware and software experts with a variety of engineering, software, technologists, and scientists focused on user needs and have access to on-campus faculty. 

PSL is a world recognized leader in sub-orbital platforms, information modeling for predictive decision making, specialized intelligence, community support, Unmanned Aircraft Systems testing and integration, advanced NASA scientific exploration and experimentation, homeland security sensing and detection technologies, and advanced weapons and countermeasures development and testing. Computational thinking and problem solving are at the core of all of PSL’s research and development efforts. These provide the foundation for field support and operations. As distinguished by its numerous scientific and technical contributions, loyal customers, expert staff and student employees, PSL continues to incorporate ongoing R&D and technical expertise into providing successful real world application solutions in the 21st century.

U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range

White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) provides Army, Navy, Air Force, DoD, and other customers with high quality services for experimentation, test, research, assessment, development, and training.

NASA’s White Sands Test Facility

White Sands is a self-contained facility that tests and evaluates potentially hazardous materials, spaceflight components, and rocket propulsion systems for NASA centers, other government agencies, and commercial industry. 

Aerospace Programs and Services

NewSpace Nexus

New Mexico operates the Launchpad, an 8,700-square-foot business incubator/accelerator facility that provides a wide range of workspaces and onsite equipment including a clean room, a thermal vacuum chamber, 3-D printers, soldering stations and individual work benches. Space companies can work in shared or private work areas in the form of desk stations, offices, and work benches. The Launchpad offers meeting spaces, a shared facility for prototyping, and connects clients with space industry assets and technical assistance.

Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University (NMSU)

Arrowhead Center offers a variety of programs geared toward helping innovators, entrepreneurs, and small businesses at any stage start and grow through its services, resources, expertise and connections. Thanks to its proximity to the Physical Science Lab, White Sands Missile Range, and Spaceport America, Arrowhead can easily partner with these entities to assist space companies reach their potential.

COSMIAC at University of New Mexico (UNM)
COSMIAC is a research center of The University of New Mexico School of Engineering. Its role is to promote innovation through the reliable and responsible use of advanced technology in military and aerospace systems. COSMIAC currently consists of full-time faculty, staff, consultants, and undergraduate and graduate students. Personnel are cleared to the TS/SCI level. Customers include (but are not limited to) the US Air Force, Space Force, NASA, Leidos, and Northrop Grumman.