Musk Says Texas in the Lead for Commercial Launch Complex

SpacX Founder Elon Musk

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk testified before the Texas House Appropriations Committee on Friday concerning the company’s proposed launch facility near Brownsville. Here are the highlights:

  • Musk said Texas still is the leading candidate for a SpaceX launch site. “It all seems to be progressing pretty well. We are optimistic about making this work in Texas in the Boca Chica area. It is looking quite good. Any support that Texas can offer would obviously be helpful.”
  • Texas has one of four sites SpaceX is considering. The others are in Florida, Georgia and Puerto Rico.
  • [Rep. Rene] Oliveira has said Texas is prepared to offer $3.2 million via its economic development arm. Another $3 million could be available through local incentives, the legislator has said.
  • Since the Texas Legislature has only until May to meet, Oliveira said the state needs to approve an incentive package before then. Texas faces a time disadvantage because the Florida and Georgia legislatures will still be in session when Texas’ session ends, he said.
  • Musk’s proposed Boca Chica spaceport would be a much larger operation, capable of launching at least 12 rockets a year.
  • Musk said the company will continue to build its Falcon 9 rockets in California, but when it begins manufacturing rockets larger than the Falcon 9, they would be built at or near the launch site. “The logical thing is to build near the launch site,” he said. “That is something that will occur wherever the launch site occurs.”
  • Eventually, Musk told lawmakers Friday, the site could become the primary hub for company flights ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station and well-heeled tourists into the stars.