Borderland ties to historic SpaceX launch

Las Cruces News

LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) — As you watched Saturday’s SpaceX launch, you watched a part of the Borderland at work.

Director of the New Mexico FAA Center of Excellence for Commerical Space Transportation and NMSU Professor Patricia Hynes, says two people closely involved with the SpaceX launch are graduates from NMSU.

Patricia Hynes

“The program manager for the commercial crew program at NASA is Kathy Lueders, she’s a graduate of New Mexico State University,” said Patricia Hynes. “The other provider is Boeing, and the head of that program, John Mulholland, is a graduate of New Mexico State Univerity,” said Hynes.

Lueders (left) Mulholland (middle)

Professor Hynes says it should be exciting for Borderland residents to know there is a direct connection to the historic launch.

“We just saw a successful launch for the first Americans in American-made vehicles from American soil to the international space station flying American astronauts, that’s the first time that’s happened since 2009,” said Hynes.

Hynes adding that the SpaceX launch was a look into what’s coming for human space transportation.

“What I want you to think about is that someday you will know somebody closely who has been to orbit possibly to the international space station, conducted research, and has come back home,” said Pat Hynes, Director of NMSU Space Grant Program.

Hynes describes human space transportation as regular people not trained astronauts being able to go to space, adding that when that day comes the Borderland will play a big role.

“In New Mexico and Texas within a three-hour drive of each other, we have a lot of human space transportation launch frequency. In the next ten years, we are going to be the most highly used human spaceflight region in the world,” said Hynes.

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