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Futurologist
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
SpaceX Receives FAA Approval for Proposed Spaceport in Texas

The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) office of Commercial Space Transportation has published a "Record of Decision" giving approval for a SpaceX Texas Launch Site in Cameron County, Texas.

This decision provides final environmental determination and approval "to support the issuance of launch licenses and/or experimental permits that would allow Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) to launch the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy orbital vertical launch vehicles and a variety of reusable suborbital launch vehicles from a launch site on privately owned property in Cameron County, Texas."

SpaceX has proposed to construct and operate a private launch site to accommodate the number of launches that the company has on its launch manifest.

The proposed private launch site is needed to provide SpaceX with an exclusive launch site that would allow the company to accommodate its launch manifest and meet tight launch windows.



SpaceX intends to apply to the FAA for launch licenses and/or experimental permits to conduct launches of the Falcon Program vehicles, and a variety of reusable suborbital launch vehicles, for a total of up to 12 commercial launch operations per year from the proposed launch site on privately owned property in Cameron County, Texas.

The FAA would likely issue launch specific licenses for the first few years of operation from the exclusive launch site. SpaceX may then apply for a launch operator license, which lasts for five years and covers the same family of vehicles.

The decision was signed on July 9 by Dr. George C. Nield, head of the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation office.

By Leonard David, Space.com’s Space Insider Columnist | July 14, 2014 04:05pm ET
 

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LIBERTINED
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Fantastic. Geil. Thank you for opening the thread!

As soon as we get renders this should get a thread at the international forums (General Urban Developments), too! :eek:kay:
 

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Futurologist
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Fantastic. Geil. Thank you for opening the thread!

As soon as we get renders this should get a thread at the international forums (General Urban Developments), too! :eek:kay:
For that, we need to get an American moderator to this thread. Anyway, i'm just as excited as you, waiting for renders.
 

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Futurologist
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just moved the duplicate thread to general urban developments. ;)

This is a terrific start to Texas' space launch industry!
It has a typo error in its title, it actually has to be removed, which I can't do.
 

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Futurologist
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
SpaceX to build world’s first commercial rocket launch site in south Texas

Published time: August 05, 2014 14:24​


SpaceX has announced it will build the world’s first commercial launchpad for orbital rockets in the south of Texas. The facility, which is expected to drag the area out of an economic hole, might become operational in 2016.

The exact location chosen for the new launchpad is Boca Chica Beach east of Brownsville, near the US-Mexico border. The area, which has mostly been associated with smuggling and illegal immigration, could now be getting a second chance as a spaceport.

“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,” Space Exploration Technologies CEO Elon Musk said in a statement.

It’s estimated the project will create 300 jobs in the economically depressed area and will supplement the local economy with $85 million in investment.

The state of Texas has lured Spacex with more than $15 million in incentives and investment. $2.3 million for the rocket center are going to come from the Texas Enterprise Fund, while an additional $13 million for infrastructure development from the Spaceport Trust Fund.

“Texas has been at 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,” Gov. Rick Perry’s office said in a statement on Monday.

SpaceX, which ferries supplies to and from the International Space Station for NASA, says it plans to launch 12 rockets a year from the new site.

It has leased NASA launch pads at Cape Canaveral and at Vandenberg Air Force base in California.

The plans for the new launch facility in Texas have faced environmental concerns, as it borders a state park. In late May, however, the Federal Aviation Administration gave a green light to the project, saying it was “consistent with existing national environmental policies.”
 

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If Brownsville does it right, it can greatly build it's economy around this project. Imagine all the tourists who will flock to see the rocket launches, and once there they will want to interact more. Maybe a space museum or amusement park built around the space theme. Together with South Padre and the rest of the region they can really become a big tourist destination.

I have always said this area can become the San Diego of Texas, maybe this is the tipping point for that to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Texas Offers SpaceX $15 Million in Incentives to Build Private Spaceport

By Megan Gannon, News Editor | August 07, 2014 11:30am ET


Texas is offering the private space company SpaceX more than $15 million in incentives to build a new launch facility at the southernmost tip of the Lone Star State.

SpaceX, which is based in Hawthorne, California, has been buying up land near Boca Chica Beach in preparation to build a seaside spaceport in Brownsville, Texas, where commercial satellites will soar over the Gulf of Mexico and into orbit.

"SpaceX is excited to expand our work in Texas with the world's first commercial launch complex designed specifically for orbital missions," SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a statement. Musk thanked local and state officials, including Governor Rick Perry for their efforts "to make this vision a reality."


Perry announced this week that the Texas Enterprise Fund would offer $2.3 million to bring SpaceX's launch site to Cameron County.

Under the Texas incentive plan, SpaceX will also collect $13 million from the Spaceport Trust Fund to the Cameron County Spaceport Development Corp. According to Perry's office, the new Texas spaceport would mark an $85 million investment in the local economy and it promises to create 300 jobs.

"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," Perry said in a statement. "In addition to growing the aerospace industry in Texas, SpaceX's facility will provide myriad opportunities for STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] education in South Texas, and inspire a new generation of Texas engineers and innovators."

In an appearance at the National Press Club in April, Musk said SpaceX was just waiting on environmental approvals to go ahead with developing the Brownsville launch pad.

"We expect to get those soon, and we'll probably have that site active in a couple of years," Musk told reporters at the time.

Then in July, the Federal Aviation Administration gave approval for SpaceX to go ahead with its private spaceport plans after the agency finished a review of safety and environmental concerns. The decision clears the way for SpaceX to get licenses and permits to use the site to launch Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy vehicles on orbital flights and to launch a variety of reusable and experimental vehicles for suborbital flights, according to the FAA.

Though SpaceX has lucrative government contracts — including a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to carry out 12 resupply missions to the International Space Station — the facility at Brownsville will be dedicated to launching commercial satellites. Once the Brownsville facility is operational, SpaceX expects to launch up to 12 missions from the site per year.

SpaceX is already doing business elsewhere in Texas. The company has a rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas, near Waco, where it has been performing test flights with its rocket prototypes.

Michael Blades, an aerospace analyst for Frost & Sullivan said Texas is "a very desirable location for a new space launch facility."

"Being one of the southernmost portions of the U.S., South Texas is closer to the equator, which means less rocket power is required to reach escape velocity, or a given amount of rocket power can transport larger payloads into space," Blades said in a statement. "As SpaceX is vying to become the preeminent commercial space launch company, they must offer multiple launch options while keeping costs down."
 

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dch526
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Nasa is helping to finance the Brownsville spaceport:

Click here for full article and report


Why NASA is turning to Elon Musk



Elon Musk: From space race to space war

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
NASA's shuttle program was once the agency's pride and joy. Now it is turning it over to two companies: Boeing and SpaceX.

Before grounding the program in 2011, NASA flew 135 missions, 37 of which were to the International Space Station, the single most expensive object ever built, with an estimated all-in cost of $150 billion.

The International Space Station is a floating laboratory in space that travels at speeds of 17,240 miles per hour, circling the planet every 90 minutes. (Oh, and despite being located in low earth orbit, about 250 miles high, the station has a Houston area code.)

So why are they giving the job to Boeing and SpaceX? NASA wants to pursue something far sexier.

This week, NASA administrator Charles Bolden spent time talking about these greater ambitions:
"We will conduct missions that will each set their own impressive roster of firsts. First crew to visit and take samples from an asteroid. First crew to fly beyond the orbit of the moon. Perhaps the first crew to grow it's own food and eat it in space. All of which will set us up for humanity's next giant leap: the first crew to touch down on and take steps on the surface of Mars."

Even so, NASA won't be able to pull that off on its own, at least according to Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind SpaceX.

"My best guess is that the establishment of a self-sustaining city on Mars will have quite a bit of NASA involvement," Musk told CNN. "But I think it's going to be a public-private partnership. It might be more private than public."

The reason? Cost and bureaucracy. "It doesn't matter how smart someone is within the government, it simply can't be accomplished with that structure," said Musk.

"I don't think NASA could establish a self-sustaining city on Mars simply because it would be cost prohibitive. If NASA did it the traditional government way, the cost of doing it would exceed the federal budget."
A deal like this could give Boeing and SpaceX an enormous share of the future space tourism industry.
 

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Futurologist
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Construction of new SpaceX Facility has started!

Construction has finally started!

Click here for original article


SpaceX breaks ground on Texas orbital launch facility

By Jim Forsyth

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - Privately owned SpaceX started construction in south Texas on Monday for what the company said will be the first private commercial orbital launch facility in the world.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp, the company's formal name, last year entered the commercial satellite launch market. It broke ground at the site near Brownsville, not far from the Mexican border.

The Hawthorne, California-based company, owned and operated by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, also flies cargo to the International Space Station under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA. Its Texas launch site, which will be its fourth in the United States, will be supported with investment from the state.

SpaceX chose Texas from among several candidates for the space port, which it said will be operating by 2016, conducting an expected 12 launches a year.

The state offered about $15 million in incentives and investment for the rocket center. It will also fund more than $80 million in capital improvements to Boca Chica Beach, a Texas state park at the mouth of the Rio Grande, the office of Governor Rick Perry said.

"With today's groundbreaking at Boca Chica Beach, we will begin an investment in South Texas that will create hundreds of jobs, and over time, contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy," Musk said.

The state legislature allowed SpaceX to close the public beach during launches, a controversial move for a state where private beaches are not allowed and public access to beaches is enshrined in the constitution.

SpaceX regularly flies from a leased and renovated launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It also has flown once from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and has an agreement with NASA to lease one of the mothballed space shuttle launch pads at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Perry's office said SpaceX will bring 300 direct jobs to the southwest border region, which recently has been in the news as one of the locations where large numbers of children from Central America cross from Mexico into the United States.

SpaceX already has a facility in central Texas that does rocket testing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·


Gov. Perry Helps Break Ground on SpaceX Commercial Launch Facility


Gov. Rick Perry today helped break ground on the SpaceX Commercial Launch Facility located near Boca Chica Beach, which will launch commercial satellites into orbit.

 

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dch526
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Looks like we won't see any sort of noticeable construction until the end of Summer '15
Space Exploration Technologies Corp. held a groundbreaking ceremony Sept. 22 for its new Texas commercial launch site, but the company’s chief executive said work to build the facility will not ramp up until the second half of 2015.
In a press conference after the event, Musk said that even though the groundbreaking was taking place now, construction of the spaceport will not begin until next year. “There will be some advance preparation work here in Boca Chica, but we’ll probably start more significant activity in the third quarter of next year,” he said.
http://spacenews.com/41957spacex-breaks-ground-on-texas-spaceport/
 
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