Spaceport renews crucial license

The New Mexico Spaceport Authority has received the renewal of its Launch Site Operator License. 

The license and the accompanying License Order were issued by the Federal Aviation Administration Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation on December 9, 2013.  This launch license renewal for Spaceport America, the nation’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport, is required by the FAA for the spaceport to host licensed vertical and horizontal launches. 

Spaceport America was first licensed by the FAA in December 2008. Licenses must be renewed through an extensive review process every five years.  The spaceport conducted one FAA-licensed launch in 2013 and two in 2012. 

NMSA anticipates a steady growth in launch operations in 2014. 

Roswell horse slaughter house in court today

A Roswell company that has been fighting for two years to open a horse slaughterhouse is back in court Friday.

 New Mexico Attorney General Gary King is trying to block Valley Meat Co.'s planned opening this month with a lawsuit alleging it would violate the state's food safety, water quality and unfair business practices laws. Although the meat would not be sold domestically, it would be processed and shipped to other countries for human consumption. 

The state lawsuit is just the latest in a series of setbacks for Valley, which sued the federal government to get a permit after Congress lifted a ban on horse slaughter in 2011. But its planned August start up then was delayed by a federal lawsuit from animal protection groups, who eventually lost but are appealing. 

The company claims the state lacks jurisdiction.


Raton company files lawsuit in unfinished racetrack

A Raton company has filed a lawsuit accusing the New Mexico Racing Commission of working to "sabotage" its plans for a $50 million racino in favor of a rival casino operator. 
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque says commissioners let the license for La Mesa Racetrack and Casino expire after the project faced a number of delays. 
The lawsuit also accused former commissioner Mary Cope of intentionally blocking the racino project because she was a friend of a rival. 
The move comes after La Mesa spent millions of dollars on the northern New Mexico project originally set to open in 2010. 
La Mesa seeks an unspecified amount for damages.