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.


 
 

 
Image courtesy of NASA/CXC/DSS/Magellan

NASA’s Chandra Observatory finds cosmic showers halt galaxy growth

Image courtesy of NASA/CXC/DSS/Magellan A study of over 200 galaxy clusters, including Abell 2597 shown here, with NASAís Chandra X-ray Observatory has revealed how an unusual form of cosmic precipitation stifles star formatio...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

NASA spacecraft nears historic dwarf planet arrival

Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA NASA’s Dawn spacecraft took these images of dwarf planet Ceres from about 25,000 miles away Feb. 25, 2015. Ceres appears half in shadow because of the current position o...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s AstroMesh reflector successfully deploys for NASA’s SMAP satellite

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory successfully deployed the mesh reflector and boom aboard the Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft, a key milestone on its mission to provide global measurements of soil moisture. Launched Jan. 31, SMAP represents the future of Earth Science by helping researchers better understand our planet. SMAP’s unmatched data capabilities are enabled...
 

 
NASA photograph by Brian Tietz

NASA offers space tech grants to early career university faculty

NASA photograph by Brian Tietz Tensegrity research is able to simulate multiple forms of locomotion. In this image, a prototype tensegrity robot reproduces forward crawling motion. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Director...
 
 

NASA releases first global rainfall, snowfall map from new mission

Like a lead violin tuning an orchestra, the GPM Core Observatory – launched one year ago on Feb. 27, 2014, as a collaboration between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency – acts as the standard to unify precipitation measurements from a network of 12 satellites. The result is NASA’s Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM...
 
 

New NASA Earth Science Missions expand view of our home planet

Four new NASA Earth-observing missions are collecting data from space with a fifth newly in orbit ñ after the busiest year of NASA Earth science launches in more than a decade. On Feb. 27, 2014, NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched the Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory into space from Japan. Data from...
 




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>