Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014 1:44 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.
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
-- 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.
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.
Governor Rick Perry
"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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