Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Brownsville, TX, United States (4E) – SpaceX has asked Texas to fork over $5 million more in new state funding to continue building its commercial spaceport called the “SpaceX South Texas Launch Site” that might see the launch of the first spacecraft carrying humans bound for Mars sometime in the 2030s.
SpaceX wants the money to help build infrastructure related to the launch facility located at beach near Boca Chica Village outside Brownsville. The launch site is in Cameron County, some 17 miles east of Brownsville. The launch flyover range covers the Gulf of Mexico.
The Cameron County Spaceport Development Corporation, one of three project stakeholders from Texas, recently applied for the $5 million at the request of SpaceX. The new money for the project will be sourced from the Spaceport Trust Fund, a state economic development fund. The two other stakeholders in the spaceport are the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Spaceport Trust Fund.
The Texas state government’s economic development and tourism division is now evaluating the application, said a spokeswoman for Governor Greg Abbott.
Some $15.3 million in state funding has already been set aside for the planned spaceport, but less than $3 million has been spent thus far.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk has said his company will invest $100 million at the site. He said the site will launch “commercial astronauts, private astronauts,” and he foresees it launching spacecraft to Mars.
The project is delayed by about two years, however. Musk in 2013 projected the first launch in 2016 or 2017. That hasn’t happened, and SpaceX in late 2015 said the first launches from the facility were to take place no earlier than 2018.
As January, however, any launch from the site is expected to take place only by 2019.
The SpaceX South Texas Launch Site will be the company’s fourth active orbital launch facility, and its first private facility. SpaceX currently leases three US government-owned launch sites: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 in Florida ; Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 4 in California and Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39A a few miles north of their existing Florida pad at LC40 on the adjacent Air Force Station.
SpaceX has one suborbital facility currently in use, the SpaceX Rocket Development and Test Facility in Texas.
Article – All Rights Reserved.
Provided by FeedSyndicate