A New Mission for New Mexico:

Mexico lawmakers got their way—the Pentagon has decided to place its new Operationally Responsive Space Program Office at Kirtland AFB, N.M. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D) and Sen. Pete Domenici (R), along with Rep. Heather Wilson (R), wrote to then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld last fall, shortly after Congress directed DOD to set up the office, asking that it be located at Kirtland. Lawmakers expect the ORS Program Office to spur development of low cost spacecraft and launch vehicles. The Air Force Research Lab’s Space Vehicles Directorate at Kirtland is deeply involved in developing low cost and rapid response space endeavors, such as TacSat-2 currently on orbit. In a joint statement, Wilson said, “Kirtland already is a top facility for space technology and research, so this mission makes sense here.”