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 photograph by Carla Thomas

Katherine Lott awarded NASA Armstrong employee scholarship

NASA photograph by Carla Thomas Katherine Lott, the recipient of the 2014 NASA Armstrong Employee Exchange Council Joseph R. Vensel Memorial Scholarship, is congratulated by NASA Armstrong center director David McBride. Flankin...
 
 
NASA Earth Observatory photograph

NASA selects instruments to track climate impact on vegetation

NASA Earth Observatory photograph Two new spaceborne Earth-observing instruments will help scientists better understand how global forests and ecosystems are affected by changes in climate and land use change. This image of the...
 
 
ULA photograph

AF launches successful satellite mission

ULA photograph The Automated Navigation and Guidance Experiment for Local Space satellite, an Air Force Research Laboratory experimental satellite, and two Air Force Space Command Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Prog...
 

 
NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich

NASA’s Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan vists Armstrong Flight Research Center

NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich Surrounded by small remotely piloted aircraft, Albion Bowers explains to Ellen Stofan how technologies are tested on small platforms prior to full scale tests. NASA’s chief scientist Ellen S...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...
 
 
Image courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Satellite study reveals parched U.S. West using up underground water

Image courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation The Colorado River Basin lost nearly 53 million acre feet of freshwater over the past nine years, according to a new study based on data from NASA’s GRACE mission. This is almost d...
 




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>