Jonathan Firth, the Executive Vice President of the Virgin Galactic, had spoken to the MVEDA members regarding the latest operation of the spaceflight tourism company. MVEDA stands for Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance. The Executive Vice President said that the spaceflight tourism company got frequently interrogated about the activities d does in the New Mexico.
“The people have the idea that we are undergoing a test regarding our spaceflight system in California,” Firth said. “What they want to know about is the impact that the Spaceport America already has in the area of economy, and what value it can give back to the economic sector.”
The Virgin Galactic had already stated that the total amount of money they already spent in the operation is nearly $20 million, which includes the over $9 million rents and other associated costs at the Spaceport from January 2013.
Virgin Galactic, up to this date has 33 employees who are working on a full-time basis at its office in the La Cruses, and they are planning to move 85 employees from the Mojave in California going to New Mexico just before the operation starts. Aside from that movement, the company is also planning to have more local hiring in the sector of the hospitality.
The company also stated that it already has the agreement with the companies in New Mexico, which values between $2.5 million and $3 million. However, Firth still has the approximate and don’t have the exact number yet about the the people to be hired prior to the guest-related activities.
“It is hard for me to place an exact number of hires since it will depend on the numbers of flights we will be having,” Firth said. “With the initial spaceship, our company understand what we want to obtain and we know that we are establishing two more space rockets, which will be brought here as soon as they’re done. How often they will do the launching will drive the schedule, which perhaps will also drive the numbers of workers we needed in the job opening.”
The company had successfully completed their initial power testing on its VSS Unity spacecraft in Mojave, the Virgin Galactic’s rocket-powered flight since its original space rocket crashed in October 2014. The company had stated that the commercial space operations will be set to begin at the Spaceport America right after the completion of the Unity space program.