NM space industry gets new innovation hub

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Jul. 9—ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — NewSpace New Mexico announced the launch Thursday of a new innovation hub in Albuquerque to help grow the state's space industry.

The hub, called the "Unite and Ignite Space," is housed in an 8,700-square-foot facility near the Albuquerque International Sunport.

It will provide co-working areas, access to resources, meeting spaces, and networking working events to facilitate new connections and collaborations among space-related companies, government agencies and private entities, NewSpace NM founder and CEO Casey Anglada DeRaad told participants at Thursday's event.

"It's not just about physical spaces," DeRaad said. "It's about programs that are going to help companies get the resources they need."

Ignite and Unite was created through a partnership among NewSpace, the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base, and the University of New Mexico's space-focused research center COSMIAC.

BlackSky, a satellite development company, will occupy offices at Unite and Ignite. Other space-related companies are also be housed nearby, including Applied Technology Associates and Raven Defense.

NewSpace also expects to open a second facility at the soon-to-be-built MaxQ, a space-related development center near Kirtland, DeRaad said. Unlike the main facility, which aims to facilitate collaborative partnerships in an open facility, the MaxQ center will provide a place for companies to work on classified projects.

MaxQ development is anticipated to have more than 2 million square feet of office, research and commercial space just south of Kirtland.

Unite and Ignite is backed by $11 million in federal funding that U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich helped secure.

Heinrich said commercial space activities have grown exponentially over the last decade, allowing smaller companies to enter the industry.

He called the new Unite and Ignite facility a collaborative "habitat" that will help build a new ecosystem for space accessibility and commercialization in New Mexico and beyond.

"This is really the start of something big for our nation and for the world," Heinrich said. "One of the most exciting technological developments of my lifetime has been watching a real change in the accessibility of space."