SpaceX Wants $5 Million More for the Boca Chica Spaceport in Texas

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SpaceX, which has been building a spaceport at Boca Chica near Brownsville, is asking the state of Texas for $5 million more to help pay for infrastructure related to the launch facility.

The request was made despite the fact that construction is far behind schedule, and millions of dollars set aside for infrastructure construction has not yet been spent, according to the Austin American Statesman.

The deal between Texas and SpaceX was struck for the spaceport in 2014 after a competition between the Lone Star State and Florida, Georgia, and Puerto Rico. The Texas state
government enticed SpaceX with tax and regulatory inducements, as well as a $15.3 million fund of which just $3 million has been spent. The plan was for SpaceX to spend $100 million to build the spaceport and to start launching rockets by 2016.

However, the land upon which the spaceport is being built has proven to be too unstable to sustain rocket launches. SpaceX has been obliged to truck in hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of new soil and then wait for it to settle in order to make the land stable enough to sustain launch operations. That process is complete, and the company is now building infrastructure. The plan is to start launching rockets as early as late 2018.

SpaceX has launched its Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center and Vandenberg Air Force Base ever since it started commercial operations. The company has achieved a space first by successfully landing and reusing the first stage of its Falcon 9. SpaceX is building the Texas spaceport so that it will have sole control of the launch range and will be able to conduct spaceflight operations at will, in cooperation with local government and the requirements of public safety.

SpaceX officials have hinted that the Boca Chica spaceport will be the home of the giant BFR, decorously called the Big Falcon Rocket, a huge, reusable launch vehicle that is at the center of CEO Elon Musk's desire to build a colony on Mars.

AUTHOR: Jake Posey

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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