Three Guys, Three Shovels, One Launchpad

They’re smiling because it’s only a few shovelfuls for them. Then the real work begins. Perry looks very comfortable at shoveling though.  Image from Rick Perry’s Twitter feed, 11:22AM, 22 Sept 14.

Let’s continue the whole SpaceX/Texas spaceport theme a little bit more.  Last week there were a few posts on this site about SpaceX’s move of launch operations near Brownsville, Texas.  According to The Register, SpaceX broke ground on the future launch site Monday, 22 Sept 14.

Texas is giving SpaceX a little over $15 million to build the privately owned launch complex in the southern part of the state.  Even though ground was broken for the site yesterday, actual construction probably won’t begin until mid-2015.  Everyone seems very optimistic about job creation in south Texas, but Musk has made it clear the launch complex will be used to launch rockets not only into orbit, but also to Mars.

Image from Slashgear.

Yes, it looks barren and uninteresting. It’s south Texas after all. Image hosted on Slashgear.

What will the launch complex look like?  According to the pictures (above) on Slashgear’s site, it doesn’t look like much.  However bland it looks, exciting and possibly historic activities might occur there.  It may be the launchpad where SpaceX starts using their first truly reusable Falcon-9, since there will be a lot less red tape for them to cut through.  Even though building starts in mid-2015, Musk believes they will be launching 1 rocket a month from the site starting in late 2016.  Chances are good that the facility will have more up-to-date equipment for safety and launching than NASA or the DoD would have been able to field for their sites.

Nevada is another state that gave money to Musk in hopes of job generation and setting up a golden goose for tax purposes.  The state gave Musk’s proposed and privately-owned Tesla battery factory a $1.3 billion (yes, that’s a ‘b’) package.  In comparison, Texas, for being such big state, donated a relatively paltry sum.  But maybe they’re being more responsible to the taxpayers.  JK–no one in government thinks they’re responsible to the taxpayers :-(.

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2 responses to “Three Guys, Three Shovels, One Launchpad

  1. Sorry but that one launch a month projection is probably bogus. SpaceX has been doing good work, but all of their prior projected launch schedules have been *wildly* over-optimistic, so this one is likely to be as well.

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  2. No need to apologize. SpaceX is behind on their launches already. The goal of one launch a month is a decent goal and if they reach it, great. If not, hopefully they use the launchpad every now and then. I just wonder how realistic the job projections are down there.

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