Texas Enterprise Fund Draws SpaceX to Texas
SpaceX could potentially bring a commercial rocket launch facility to Texas.
Texas Governor Rick Perry announced a Texas Enterprise Fund Monday, August 4, that will invest $2.3 million to bring SpaceX to Cameron County in East Texas. Currently, that deal is contingent upon finalization of local agreements and receipt of permits. The facility could potentially create 300 jobs and inject $85 million in capitals investments to the county.
SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, designs, manufactures and launches rockets and spacecraft. It is currently the only private company to return a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit as well as the first private company to deliver cargo to the International Space Station and return safely.
“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. “In addition to growing the aerospace industry in Texas, SpaceX’s facility will provide myriad opportunities for STEM education in South Texas, and inspire a new generation of Texas engineers and innovators.”
Discussions regarding the project have been taking place since 2011 when Perry met with Musk. The California based company has operated a rocket development facility in McGreggor, Texas since 2003. The new Brownsville facility will be used to launch commercial satellites.
“SpaceX is excited to expand our work in Texas with the world’s first commercial launch 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 for the Texas workforce, this site will inspire students, expand the supplier base and attract tourists to the south Texas area.”
According to Governor Perry’s Office, in addition to the TEF investment, the state is also offering $13 million from the Spaceport Trust Fund to the Cameron County Spaceport Development Corp. The fund will be used to support the development of infrastructure necessary for establishing a spaceport.