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 partners punctuate summer with spacecraft development advances

Spacecraft and rocket development is on pace this summer for NASA’s aerospace industry partners for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program as they progress through systems testing, review boards and quarterly sessions under their† Space Act Agreements with the agency. NASA engineers and specialists continue their review of the progress as the agency and partners move...
 
 

NASA seeks proposals for commercial Mars data relay satellites

NASA has issued a Request for Information to investigate the possibility of using commercial Mars-orbiting satellites to provide telecommunications capabilities for future robotic missions to the Red Planet. We are looking to broaden participation in the exploration of Mars to include new models for government and commercial partnerships, said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator of NASAR...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory celebrates 15th anniversary

NASA photograph To celebrate the 15th anniversary of NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, four new images of supernova remnants are being released. These spectacular cosmic vistas are the glowing debris fields that were crea...
 

 
NASA photograph

NASA begins engine test project for space launch system rocket

NASA photograph RS-25 rocket engine No. 0525 is positioned onto the A-1 Test Stand at NASAís Stennis Space Center in Mississippi preparation for a series of developmental tests. Engineers have taken a crucial step in preparing...
 
 

SSL selected to study asteroid retrieval for NASA

Space Systems/Loral, a leading provider of commercial satellites, announced July 18 that it was one of the companies selected by NASA to study system concepts and key technologies for NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission, which is expected to be a key part of the agency’s path to sending humans to Mars. SSL will conduct two studies;...
 
 
NASA image

NASA turns over next-gen air traffic management tool to FAA

NASA image As seen in this image, Terminal Sequencing and Spacing technology enables air traffic controllers to better manage the spacing between aircraft as they save both time and fuel and reducing emissions, flying more effi...
 




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>