Elon Musks' SpaceX signs lease at NM spaceport - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Elon Musks' SpaceX signs lease at NM spaceport

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Another space industry heavyweight has signed onto New Mexico's Spaceport America.

Gov. Susana Martinez announced Tuesday that Elon Musks' Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, has agreed to a 3-year lease to do testing of its "Grasshopper" reusable rocket in southern New Mexico.

SpaceX is 1 of the leading developers of rockets and spacecraft and is 1 of the companies the Spaceport project has been trying to recruit.

Spaceport America Executive Director Christine Anderson says the Grasshopper project is moving from McGregor, Texas, to New Mexico because the rocket needs to be tested at higher altitudes. She says the reusable rocket could revolutionize the commercial space industry by greatly reducing costs.

Richard Branson's space tourism company, Virgin Galactic, is the anchor tenant at Spaceport, which has struggled to attract other businesses.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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