While the official announcement isn’t due until later today, the AP reports that New Mexico officials have come up with a new name for the Southwest Regional Spaceport: Spaceport America. The name’s genesis is interesting:
The name grew out of a 45-minute brainstorming session last December during a chartered helicopter ride to the spaceport site in the southern New Mexico desert near the White Sands Missile Range. Representatives from the state and Branson’s Virgin Galactic threw out several possibilities, but ultimately agreed on Spaceport America.
The old name, New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Rick Homans explained, was “a mouthful to pronounce” (true) and “didn’t reflect the cutting-edge vision of the project” (I dunno, “spaceport” sounds pretty cutting-edge to me.) Spaceport America, on the other hand, “is less parochial and solidifies New Mexico’s spot as the premiere spaceport destination in North America.” One imagines, though, that the name is a little off-putting to places like California, Florida, Alaska, Virginia, and Oklahoma, which have spaceports already or have them under active development.