Space Facilities

WSMR has a long and successful history with space programs. White Sands Missile Range has been testing and supporting space systems since the 1940's. WSMR has supported testing and evaluation efforts for Apollo, Skylab, Delta Clipper, Space Shuttle, and Orion CEV projects. WSMR currently launches suborbital research rockets and continues manned spaceflight support with the upcoming Boeing Commercial Crew CST-100 spacecraft tests. Several space support facilities are located in the area. NASA operates two facilities at WMSR: The White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) and the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) ground segment. Spaceport America is a newly established commercial spaceport which has supported commercial launches and spacecraft development programs in addition to the Virgin Galactic manned flights planned for the next few years.

Facilities Available:

White Sands Missile Range (WSMR):

WSMR currently supports NASA's suborbital research rocket launch program. A collaborative effort between the U.S. Navy at WSMR and NASA provides several launch complexes and facilities to support this program. WSMR's launch complexes are at approximately 4000 ft elevation.

Numerous test facilities exist to support space programs. WSMR provides a comprehensive array of test capabilities enabling space system testing in a safe, secure, and diverse airspace environment. Fixed and mobile climatic, dynamic, electromagnetic environmental effects (E3), and nuclear effects facilities are equipped to accommodate complete Space System testing.

NASA White Sands Test Facility (WSTF): NASA WSTF provides extensive propulsion, materials and spacecraft component test facilities. NASA WSTF is a WSMR tenant and is located on the west side of WSMR, separated from the main portion of WSMR by the San Andres mountains. WSTF has a history of over 300 engine and rocket tests, for a total of over two million firings to date.

Spaceport America, the world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport can support both vertically- and horizontally-launched spacecraft. Spaceport America is located just to the west of WSMR. A 10,000 ft runway is available for conventional aircraft operations or horizontally-launched spacecraft.

Holloman AFB, test facilities at the 46th Test Group and Holloman AFB runways are available.

NASA Goddard Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TRDSS) Ground Segment: The TDRSS ground segment is located next to NASA WSTF and consists of two functionally identical ground terminals collectively known as the White Sands Complex. The system consists of a constellation of geosynchronous satellites and associated ground systems which operate as relay system between customer space platforms and customer ground facilities. For customer platforms operating in a low earth orbit (LEO) above 73 km in altitude, TDRSS is capable of providing tracking and data acquisition services in most cases over 100% of the customer platform's orbit.

The New Mexico State University Physical Sciences Laboratory and General Dynamics Spaceplex are both located on the New Mexico State University campus, in Las Cruces NM to the west of WSMR, and provide space support services.