Virgin Galactic set to launch first commercial spaceflight. Students from the New Mexico Military Institute create biodegradable bioplastic derived from green chiles. Albuquerque and New Mexico receive favorable economic report, and area businesses look forward to a lower Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) rate. Public Service Company of New Mexico donates tablets to Isleta students.

Virgin Galactic announces start of commercial spaceflight service

Virgin Galactic has announced the start of commercial spaceflight service. The flight window for its first commercial revenue-generating mission, ‘Galactic 01’, opens on 27 June, 2023 with opportunities to fly through 30 June.

Virgin Galactic’s team and vehicles are ready to fly their first customers to space, having successfully completed the Unity 25 spaceflight and subsequent routine analysis and vehicle inspections. Galactic 01 will carry three crew members from the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council of Italy to conduct microgravity research. Carrying scientific payloads for its first-ever commercial spaceflight will showcase the value and power of the unique suborbital science lab that Virgin Galactic offers.

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Green chiles into bioplastics? New Mexico students place 4th at international science fair

Three high school students at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell created a biodegradable, pest-repellent bioplastic for use in farming by combining ingredients often found at farmers markets, including the chaff left over from roasting green chiles.

Evan Kennedy, 11th grade, Lucas Tang, 9th grade and Isaac Armenta-Perez, 11th grade won fourth place in the International Science and Engineering Fair’s plant sciences category last month in Dallas for their invention, a compostable bioplastic that acts as weed barrier and pest repellent in farming.

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Reasons to celebrate Albuquerque area’s business picture

Turns out that Albuquerque and New Mexico have plenty of positives in place to attract new business and new hires. That’s according to the annual report released this past week by the Albuquerque Regional Economic Alliance and real estate giant CBRE on Tuesday.

Here are some top points of the study:

  • For metro areas with populations between 500,000 and 1 million, the Albuquerque metro area ranks No. 1 for female aerospace engineers and operation technicians
  • Albuquerque has a large number of residents with graduate degrees, roughly 34% — and that’s huge.

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GRT tax rate in New Mexico will drop soon – here’s what you need to know

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The taxes that businesses pay on the goods they sell are about to drop. And the state just released a new tax filer’s kit to help navigate the change.

The new, lower rate will start on July 1, 2023. The state rate will drop from 5% to 4.875% thanks to a law passed in 2022.

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Pitching In: Public Service Company of New Mexico donates tablets for Isleta students

Public Service Company of New Mexico has donated 40 tablets to Isleta Department of Education to support education efforts for children of the pueblo, according to a news release.

“We are proud to support the Pueblo of Isleta Department of Education in their efforts to provide educational resources to teach and maintain their Tiwa language,” said Don Tarry, PNM president, in a statement. “PNM is committed to collaborating with communities to help create a better future for all.”

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