Viva Las Cruces

I’m sitting in my hotel room in Las Cruces right now, getting ready for the day’s events. Officially there’s not much on the schedule: there is an “Executive Summit” today in Las Cruces, but the organizers have put a “No Media Allowed” sign on the clubhouse door. (Which is a shame, since the summit agenda looks interesting, although I can understand their desire to promote a more open discussion environment without attendees worrying that their every word will be broadcast to the world. The event does have a high-powered lineup, including speeches by Mike Griffin and Marion Blakey and a dinner address by former VP Al Gore, although hopefully he’ll give something other than his An Inconvenient Truth slide show.) I’ll be spending part of the day at the airport, checking out preparations there, including Armadillo Aerospace’s attempts to win approval from the FAA for their Lunar Lander Challenge flights.

Some miscellaneous notes from Las Cruces:

  • Alan Boyle reports on the “coopetition” that exists among the many commercial spaceports under development. Yes, these spaceports are competing with one another to lure suborbital spaceflight companies, but are also looking ahead to point-to-point suborbital travel and interoperability issues.
  • More discussion from New Scientist and about proper etiquette for future space tourists. And, yes, the issue of sex in space comes up.
  • New Mexico State University has adopted the X Prize Cup, to some degree, as its homecoming theme this weekend. The “Countdown to Xcellence” theme, the Las Cruces Sun-News reports, “honors the region’s role in space development and the future of interstellar travel, since it coincides with this weekend’s X Prize competition.” (Interstellar travel?) NMSU takes on the Univ. of Hawaii in the homecoming football game Saturday night, if you’re looking for something to do after Saturday’s cup events.
  • File this under Rock(ets) and Roll(ing Stones): On my flight from Dallas to El Paso I noticed a number of people wearing Rolling Stones shirts and jackets. It turns out they’re part of the staff for the Stones’ concert tour, which rolls into El Paso Friday night at the Sun Bowl. Just in case all the events of both days of the X Prize Cup aren’t enough excitement for you…

3 comments to Viva Las Cruces

  • Chance

    Sounds like it’s going to be a busy few days. Are you going to get to meet Widget the armadillo I wonder?

  • Daniel Hudson

    Any recommendations for a newbie? I’m leaving on my way to Las Cruces in an hour – not sure what to expect, or what I need to bring…?

  • Jeff Foust

    Chance: No Widget sightings so far. But there’s still a lot to come.

    Daniel: When it comes to the X Prize Cup, we’re all pretty much newbies, since this is only the second year of the event (and this year is considerably different from last year). There should be plenty of notices on the video/PA system about upcoming events (last year there was pretty much a running commentary throughout the day on the main stage) to let you know what’s going on. So enjoy!

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