SpaceX seeking up to $5 million more in spaceport funding from state
Bob Sechler American-Statesman Staff
SpaceX is seeking new state funding to build a commercial spaceport in Texas, even though the high-profile project that it began near Brownsville in 2014 is behind schedule and millions in state tax dollars already set aside for it have yet to be spent.
Hawthorne, Calif.-based SpaceX — founded by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk with the aim of reducing the cost of space travel and one day facilitating the colonization of Mars — is seeking up to $5 million more from the state to help build infrastructure related to the launch facility at Boca Chica beach outside Brownsville, a Cameron County official has confirmed.
SpaceX could begin testing its Mars rocket in Texas by late 2018, early 2019
On the heels of a successful wet dress rehearsal for Falcon Heavy, SpaceX’s President and COO Gwynne Shotwell spoke briefly about SpaceX for an aerospace conference located at Texas’ Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science. Ars Technica’s senior spaceflight editor Eric Berger was in attendance and provided a rough outline of live tweets during the first group of presentations.
While the phrasing cannot provide absolute confirmation, Berger summarized a statement by Shotwell suggesting that SpaceX’s Boca Chica, Texas launch site, currently in the early stages of construction, could be ready to host “vehicle tests” as soon as late 2018, early 2019. At this point in time, based on comments from Shotwell and CEO Elon Musk, it can be reasonably assumed that SpaceX’s Texas launch facilities will be dedicated mainly to the company’s interplanetary colonization efforts, and will probably be tailored to support the testing and eventual launches of BFR/BFS.
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