Space

May 8, 2012

Texas officials quiet on space launch site project

Proponents are eagerly pursuing a project to keep Texas at the center of the space exploration efforts, but say they are getting little encouragement from state officials, according to a published report.

Leaders of the Texas space industry are anticipating the May 19 test launch of a private cargo ship from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to the International Space Station. They hope to persuade Space Exploration Technologies Corp., better known as SpaceX, to develop a launch site near Brownsville in far South Texas.

“There’s been a lot of good action by the authorities in the Brownsville area,” SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk told the Houston Chronicle for a story published in Sunday’s editions. However, he said, “There’s not been that much at the state level, and we’d certainly appreciate more from the state level.”

SpaceX notified the state last month that it planned to work up an environmental impact statement for a launch site on the Gulf Coast in Cameron County, three miles north of the Mexico border. The Mojave, Calif.,-based company, which already has a testing facility near Waco, said it is serious about the Texas launch site proposal, although it also is considering sites in Florida and Puerto Rico.

But the silence from Gov. Rick Perry’s office has been baffling, Texas space advocates said.

“The state of Texas ought to be on it like a duck on a June bug,” former NASA space station program director Tom Moser said. He led an effort in the 1990s to build a space port in Texas.

Keith Graf, the aerospace and aviation director for Perry’s economic development and tourism office, referred the Chronicle’s questions to the governor’s office.

“Our office policy is not to discuss any potential negotiations, so unfortunately I can’t confirm anything for you,” said Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed.

SpaceX wants to create a quasi-governmental agency similar to Space Florida. That has a $10 million annual budget, is a go-to contact for industry and promotes commercial spaceflight development. New Mexico has provided such state support for a spaceport for Virgin Galactic, and Virginia also is chasing the launch industry.

New Texas Space Alliance President Robert Lancaster doubts state officials fully realize the shifting shape of human spaceflight activities and how Houston’s connection is in jeopardy.

“The more we show and inform the decision-makers in Texas that things which have historically been in Texas – and should be in Texas – are locating in other states, we believe they will be supportive of this initiative,” Lancaster told the Chronicle. AP

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
nasa-commercial-crew

Commercial Crew milestones met; partners on track for 2017 missions

NASA has taken another step toward returning America’s ability to launch crew missions to the International Space Station from the United States in 2017. The Commercial Crew Program ordered its first crew rotation mission fro...
 
 
boeing-space

Boeing awarded first-ever commercial human spaceflight mission

NASA issued a task order as part of Boeing’s $4.2 billion Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract recently to include the company’s first-ever service flight to the International Space Station. The award ...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Europa mission begins with selection of science instruments

Photograph courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech Bizarre features on Europa’s icy surface suggest a warm interior. This view of the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa was obtained by NASA’s Galileo mission, and shows a color...
 

 
Photograph courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

NASA begins testing Mars lander in preparation for next mission to Red Planet

Photograph courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin Engineers and technicians at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, run a test of deploying the solar arrays on NASA’s InSight lander. Photo taken April 30, 2015. Te...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s WISE spacecraft discovers most luminous galaxy in universe

Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech This artist’s concept depicts the current record holder for the most luminous galaxy in the universe. The galaxy, WISE J224607.57-052635.0, is erupting with light equal to more than 300 ...
 
 

Air Force launches hush-hush mini-shuttle into space

A mysterious space plane rocketed into orbit May 20, carrying no crew but a full load of technology experiments. The Air Force launched its unmanned mini-shuttle late morning, May 20. An Atlas V rocket lifted it up and out over the Atlantic. This is the fourth flight for the military research program, which is shrouded...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>