Print 26 comment(s) - last by jwitty.. on Aug 6 at 11:52 PM

It's the world's first commercial launchpad

Texas is on the list of states being considered for Tesla Motors' massive Gigafactory, and while CEO Elon Musk is still reportedly trying to make a decision on that location, Texas did manage to win SpaceX's first commercial launchpad in the meantime. 
According to Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas), the state of Texas is paying $2.3 million USD from the Texas Enterprise Fund to bring SpaceX's launchpad -- which is the world's first commercial launchpad -- to the state.
Texas will reportedly pay another $13 million USD from the SpacePort Trust Fund to support infrastructure development.
The Brownsville Economic Development Council is awarding about $5 million USD of incentives and local tax breaks. 
“Texas has been on the forefront of our nation’s space exploration efforts for decades, so it is fitting that SpaceX has chosen our state as they expand the frontiers of commercial space flight,” said Perry.
The new launchpad, which is set to be located in Brownsville, Texas, is expected to bring about 300 jobs to the site. 
“We appreciate the support of Governor Perry and numerous other federal, state and local officials who have partnered with us to make this vision a reality,” said Musk.

“In addition to creating hundreds of high tech jobs for the Texas workforce, this site will inspire students, expand the supplier base and attract tourists to the south Texas area.”
While this is a nice win for Texas, the state will likely keep trying to snag Musk's Gigafactory as well. 
Tesla's Gigafactory aims to create electric vehicle batteries on a mass scale, which will bring battery costs down and help the automaker deliver an affordable EV. Tesla will invest around $2 billion in the plant through 2020 while investors will pay another $2-3 billion for a total $4-5 billion investment.  
The giant Gigafactory will span 500 to 1,000 acres of land and have a space requirement of 10 million square feet. Southwestern states like California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Arizona are all fighting to have the Gigafactory built in their respective states, since it will create 6,500 jobs and be a great investment in renewable energy. Tesla still hasn't selected a site yet, though.
The Gigafactory aims to produce 35 GWh of cells and 50 GWh of battery packs a year. 
SpaceX might not get as much press lately as Tesla Motors, but it has had its share of big moments in the spotlight -- especially where American space travel is concerned post-NASA space shuttle fleet. SpaceX flew its Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket to the ISS for the first time back in May 2012 for a test supply run. After that successful trip, SpaceX and NASA signed a $1.6 billion USD contract that allows SpaceX to complete 12 supply trips to the ISS and back.
In October 2012, the Dragon capsule completed its first official cargo run to the ISS, bringing home 1,673 pounds of cargo. 

Source: Governor Rick Perry

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A bit strange
By bug77 on 8/6/2014 5:19:16 AM , Rating: 1
A launchpad on the Tornado Alley? Then again, maybe SpaceX already has a plan in place to harness the power of tornadoes to hurl their rockets into space.

RE: A bit strange
By bug77 on 8/6/2014 5:24:56 AM , Rating: 2
Oh wait, that's actually on the Mexican border. So it's safe from tornadoes, tucked away under hurricanes.

And I'd be very surprised it the launchpad only creates 300 jobs. A small airport sustains more than that. The figure probably relates to the initial phase of the project.

RE: A bit strange
By Arkive on 8/6/2014 1:11:27 PM , Rating: 2

An airport also has to have processes and personnel to handle thousands of people passing through it daily. All this launch facility probably has to deal with is operations, security, and maintenance.

RE: A bit strange
By jwitty on 8/6/2014 11:52:08 PM , Rating: 3
Underneath hurricanes like the florida coast? NASA launched everything from gemini to the shuttle there and seemed to do ok with it.

Location, location, location
By mellomonk on 8/6/2014 8:13:36 AM , Rating: 5
You can debate taxes, gun laws, politics, ect all you want. It was always going to be extreme southern TX or FL, most likely the Brownsville area. And for two simple reasons. The same reasons why NASA and the Air Force launch from FL. Length of safety range and proximity to the equator.

California is fine for polar orbit launches and in fact Space X's polar launches will be from CA. Most of it's NASA launches will likely be from Kennedy Space Center. Space X has already signed a lease on the former 39-A shuttle launch pad at KSC. Brownsville is going to be for other commercial launches.

Why bring tesla into this...
By tdktank59 on 8/5/2014 2:24:38 PM , Rating: 4
All that relates tesla to space x is elon musk... So why even bring it up other than to cross link to other content... Thats what a related links section is for...

Awesome News!
By GotThumbs on 8/5/2014 4:13:51 PM , Rating: 3
Now he just needs to award Texas the Gigafactory.

Suck it California. :P

Sad news
By DT_Reader on 8/5/14, Rating: -1
RE: Sad news
By tng on 8/5/2014 2:40:37 PM , Rating: 2
I hate to see Texas get one nickle of new business
OK.... I will take that bait....

RE: Sad news
By DT_Reader on 8/5/14, Rating: -1
RE: Sad news
By tng on 8/5/2014 5:33:38 PM , Rating: 2
Ahhhh... There it is!

Surely there has to be some venom in there for the gun laws in TX or the conservative bent in the state?

RE: Sad news
By FITCamaro on 8/5/2014 3:06:30 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah it's terrible when those low tax, pro-business states win business. Better to do business in those liberal crap holes that tax people out the butt to pay for lazy people to stay home. Where self-entitled teens and young adults protest to get paid more for their no-skill, entry level jobs.

RE: Sad news
By Nightbird321 on 8/5/2014 3:41:58 PM , Rating: 2
Low-tax pro-business states have lower median individual income though. You'd think it's the opposite. Not saying I like high taxes, I'd simply rather have high income and high taxes than low income and low taxes...

RE: Sad news
By Nutzo on 8/5/2014 4:02:52 PM , Rating: 4
That's because they also have a lower cost of living. In some states (like California) you have to have a high income just to get by after all the taxes. That's also why the poverty rate in California is 20%.
If I was making the same income I currently make in Southern California, but lived in Texas, I'd actually be able to retire 10 years earlier.

RE: Sad news
By tayb on 8/5/2014 5:32:40 PM , Rating: 2
Florida, Arizona, Louisiana, Georgia, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee are all in the bottom 15 poverty rates.

RE: Sad news
By KCjoker on 8/5/2014 6:16:47 PM , Rating: 2
They're not going bankrupt like California is with terrible pensions either.

RE: Sad news
By Solandri on 8/6/2014 12:43:03 AM , Rating: 2
The official poverty rates do not take into account the different cost of living in different states. The same monetary standard is used for the 48 contiguous states (only Hawaii and Alaska have different standards).

The Census released an alternate method of calculating poverty in 2013 called SPM. This took into account additional assistance as income (like food stamps, subsidized housing), and necessary expenses (like taxes, child care, medical insurance).

The bottom 15 states by the SPM measure are:

23.8% - California
22.7% - DC
19.8% - Nevada
19.5% - Florida
18.8% - Arizona
18.5% - Louisiana
18.2% - Georgia
18.1% - New York
17.3% - Hawaii
16.5% - Arkansas
16.4% - Texas
16.1% - New Mexico
16.1% - Mississippi
16.0% - U.S. average
15.8% - South Carolina
15.5% - Tennessee
15.5% - New Jersey
15.2% - Illinois

Normalize by population and the states with the most poverty are:

49.380 million - U.S. total
8.952 - California
4.211 - Texas
3.709 - Florida
3.487 - New York
1.943 - Illinois
1.760 - Georgia
(The above states represents half the people in poverty.)

SPM did not take into account the cost of housing in each state (probably because it varies so much depending on if you're living in a city or out in the boonies). So the actual poverty rate is probably much higher in states with large urban centers, much lower in rural states.

Anyway, can we get off the "poverty is a red/blue state problem" wardrum? Poverty seems to be politically agnostic.

RE: Sad news
By tng on 8/5/2014 5:38:48 PM , Rating: 2
Low-tax pro-business states have lower median individual income though

Maybe, but that is only one gauge of prosperity. Yes in CA they will pay you more, but I know allot of people who have decent skills yet can only find part time with no benefits. Most of them have moved or are planning to move to TX.

RE: Sad news
By teldar on 8/5/2014 4:46:30 PM , Rating: 2
This is just a great response to someone who is obviously a communist or at least a socialist. I prefer to work (not very hard, but took a lot of education and intelligence to get there) and get paid for my effort and keep some of my money instead of paying the terminal welfare sycophants to stay home...

RE: Sad news
By tayb on 8/5/2014 5:28:02 PM , Rating: 1
Texas receives $1.43 in federal funding for every $1.00 it sends to the federal government. Basically, Texas is subsidized by the federal government. So is Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and South Carolina. Do you see a trend there?

New York, California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Delaware all receive less than they pay in. Do you spot the trend there?

Those dirty liberal states are subsidizing the capitalist utopia in the south. The only reason Texas gets away with the tax rate is because the federal government subsidizes them. If Texas received $1.00 in federal funding for every $1.00 generated in taxes it would need to raise taxes in the state 5-15% to make ends meet.

I propose we cap federal state spending to the revenue generated by each state. Then let us see where the real utopia is.

RE: Sad news
By DT_Reader on 8/5/14, Rating: 0
RE: Sad news
By Solandri on 8/6/2014 12:57:54 AM , Rating: 2
New York, California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Delaware all receive less than they pay in. Do you spot the trend there?

Those dirty liberal states are subsidizing the capitalist utopia in the south.


No they're not. You're falling for a common statistical fallacy called Simpson's paradox. When you divide a population into arbitrary groupings, the trend of the groups can be contrary to the trend of the whole. The most famous recent example is Al Gore winning the popular vote, but losing the electoral vote to Bush. Because the electoral college arbitrarily divides the popular vote along state lines.

Republicans tend to have higher incomes than Democrats. People with higher incomes pay more taxes. So Republicans are net tax contributors, Democrats net recipients.

But when you arbitrarily group the tax contributions along state lines, the wealthy Republicans who pay all those taxes in New York and California get magically moved into the Democrat column. You are mis-attributing tax contributions by conservatives and crediting them to liberals just because those conservatives happen to live in a majority-liberal state.

RE: Sad news
By weskurtz0081 on 8/6/2014 10:44:15 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, in a vacuum that picture doesn't look very good does it? However, if you look where the spending is going and the historical levels of federal money being sent to Texas vs the amount collected from Texas, you may realize it's not that big of a deal.

RE: Sad news
By AMDftw on 8/5/2014 3:09:21 PM , Rating: 1
"you mad bro?"

RE: Sad news
By Nutzo on 8/5/2014 4:04:33 PM , Rating: 2
Actually it was a smart decision. If he tried to build it out here in California, he would be fighting environmental lawsuits for the next 20 years.

RE: Sad news
By gookpwr on 8/5/2014 6:45:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah well I'm going to throw it out there and say the Gigafactory is coming here to Nevada. Nevada has the best tax rates, like almost zero, not going to say zero there are fess and such that cost but nothing like the other states have. Nevada has the most available land, plenty of people that need a job, and the lowest environmental impact.

Musk just isn't saying anything because he wants to use the gigfactory as leverage, to work the laws in the other states so he can keep his direct sale dealerships. News flash Vegas just opened its second Tesla dealership with zero opposition.

Honestly, this shouldn't even be a question, as to where the gigfactory is going from a business point of view, just a matter of when he'll announce it.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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