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.


 
 

 
Images courtesy of NASA/JHU-APL/SwRI

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft stays course to Pluto

Images courtesy of NASA/JHU-APL/SwRI These images show the difference between two sets of 48 combined 10-second exposures with New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) camera, taken at 8:40 UTC and 10:25 UTC...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Fourth Lockheed Martin-built MUOS secure comm satellite shipped

Lockheed Martin photograph On June 28, MUOS-4, the next satellite scheduled to join the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System secure communications network, shipped to Cape Canaveral from Lockheed Martin’s satellite manu...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA/CXC/U. Wisconsin/S. Heinz

NASA’s Chandra captures x-ray echoes pinpointing distant neutron star

Photograph courtesy of NASA/CXC/U. Wisconsin/S. Heinz A light echo in X-rays detected by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has provided a rare opportunity to precisely measure the distance to an object on the other side of the...
 

 

Veteran NASA spacecraft nears 60,000th lap around Mars

NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft will reach a major milestone June 23, when it completes its 60,000th orbit since arriving at the Red Planet in 2001. Named after the bestselling novel “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Arthur C. Clarke, Odyssey began orbiting Mars almost 14 years ago, on Oct. 23, 2001. On Dec. 15, 2010, it...
 
 
nasa-study

NASA selects six wild ideas in aviation for further study

NASA has selected six proposals to study transformative ideas that might expand what’s possible in aviation, shifting the boundary between fantastic and futuristic. During a day-long meeting in April, 17 teams pitched the...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA signs agreement with Space Florida to operate historic landing facility

NASA photograph This aerial photo of the runway at the KSC Shuttle Landing Facility looks north. Longer and wider than most commercial runways, it is 15,000 feet long, with 1,000-foot paved overruns on each end, and 300 feet wi...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>