Mon September 24, 2012
Is Private Space Flight Coming to Texas?
A 50-acre section of land near Brownsville is subject to speculation as a potential location of a new rocket launch site, to be built by private space exploration firm SpaceX.
Three recent property purchases near the proposed site in Cameron County by SpaceX could mean that the company has, in fact, picked Texas over Florida, Georgia and Puerto Rico to be home to its launch site.
The Brownsville Herald reports that public records in Cameron County show that SpaceX bought three pieces of property between June and September near the proposed site, under the name of Dogleg Park, LLC. The address listed for Dogleg Park on the deeds for these properties is the address of SpaceX’s Hawthorne, Calif. headquarters.
SpaceX has not yet commented on or released any statements about the purchased land.
Texans are divided on whether a rocket launch site on the Texas coast would be a boon or a burden for the area. The Brownsville Economic Development Council has expressed support for the project because it would stimulate the local economy and create jobs. However, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department wrote a letter in May to the Federal Aviation Administration expressing concern over the proposed site’s proximity to Boca Chica State Park. The park is home to a variety of endangered species that could be adversely impacted by the launch site’s operations. The FAA is currently compiling an environmental impact report.
SpaceX is the first private business to send a cargo mission to the International Space Station, positioning itself as a leader in the increasingly-privatized space industry.