New Mexico’s push to become the center of the commercial space travel industry is on the hunt for a PR agency via RFP as the country’s first spaceport project faces budget cuts amid the sluggish economy.

Artist's rendering of the New Mexico spaceport project.
The New Mexico Spaceport Authority, the public-sector entity overseeing construction of Spaceport America in Upham, N.M., near the White Sands Missile Range, issued an open RFP for PR firms on July 19 to handle PR outreach, media tours, and similar tasks.

The move comes just months after the SA project was hit by a 57 percent budget cut by the state legislature and has fallen more than a year behind schedule. New leadership was installed earlier this year and construction continues.

Virgin Galactic is slated to be the anchor tenant of the world’s first commercial spaceport.

The RFP release came two days before today's landing in Florida of the last NASA space shuttle mission.

Proposals are due Aug. 1. Download the RFP.