SpaceX to Build a $85 Million Rocket Launch Pad in Brownsville

Photo courtesy of Gov. Rick Perry's office.

Photo courtesy of Gov. Rick Perry’s office.

Texas is set to play a major role in the new space race.

This week, Gov. Rick Perry announced Texas would offer $15.3 million in incentives to bring SpaceX’s commercial rocket launch facility to Brownsville, on the southern tip of Texas. The facility will launch commercial satellites.

SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, plans to create 300 jobs at the site.

“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,” Gov. Perry said in a news release. “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.”

Texas is providing the incentives from a $2.3 million Texas Enterprise Fund grant and $13 million from the Spaceport Trust Fund, earmarked for developing the infrastructure for the spaceport.

SpaceX is a private maker of rockets and spacecraft founded by Musk. The company has already launched a spacecraft and delivered cargo to the International Space Station. Since 2003, the company has operated a Rocket Development Facility in McGregor, Texas with more than 250 employees.

“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 a news release. “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.”

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