Having first considered Florida, Puerto Rico and Georgia, SpaceX said Monday it will build the world's first commercial site for orbital rocket launches in Brownsville, Texas.
" 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 Gov. Rick Perry who first discussed this potential project with the company in 2011 during a TexasOne mission to California.
The state is offering SpaceX $2.3 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF), plus $13 million from the Spaceport Trust Fund to the Cameron County Spaceport Development Corp. to pay for the infrastructure that is needed to establish a spaceport.
"SpaceX is excited to expand our work in Texas with the world's first commercial complex designed specifically for orbital missions. We appreciate the support of Gov. Perry and numerous other federal, state and local officials who have partnered with us to make this vision a reality", SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said. "In addition to creating hundreds of high tech jobs, this site will inspire students, expand supplier base and attract tourists to the south Texas area".
SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecrafts, and is the first private company to attach a spacecraft to the International Space Station,exchange cargo payloads and return to Earth. In 2010 it became the first private company to ever return a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit. The company was founded in 2002 by PayPal entrepreneur and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.
The company operates since 2003 a Rocket Development Facility in McGregor, Texas with over 250 employees. It is estimated that the new Brownsville facility will create 300 jobs and pump $85 million of capital investment into the local economy.