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Mon, Jul 09, 2012

XCOR May Be Headed For Midland, TX

City Council, Economic Development Entity To Vote Monday On Incentive Package

XCOR, which is developing the Lynx suborbital spacecraft, is considering a move out of Mojave, CA for Midland, TX, according to several media reports. The Midland City Council and the Midland Development Corporation (MDC) will reportedly vote Monday on whether to approve an incentive package for the commercial space company.

The incentive package is reportedly worth about $10 million, and would establish XCOR's corporate headquarters in Midland, according to a report in the Midland Reporter-Telegram. MDC board secretary Robert Rendall told the paper that he was not aware that "this industry is as mature as it is. I'm excited we've got the opportunity to get in on the ground floor."

XCOR said that Midland has been on its short list for a while, citing a business-friendly climate as well as open space around Midland International Airport. XCOR COO Andrew Nelson also said the weather was an enticement.

The incentive package breaks down like this; $2 million for establishing the headquarters in Midland, $3 million toward lease payments and capital improvements on the existing hangar, and $5 million in performance incentives tied to payroll requirements which would increase each year. The target number for XCOR would be a $12 million payroll within five years.

The XCOR incentive package is on the agenda for a special meeting of the MDC to be held Monday.

One source at XCOR said that the company would be "expanding" into Midland, and not decamping from Mojave entirely. And, the Space News Journal notes that Midland International Airport does not hold a launch site operators license, meaning it is not one of the U.S.'s designated spaceports, and it is not known if they plan to seek such a license.

A news conference is scheduled for Monday afternoon in Midland.

FMI: www.xcor.com, www.ci.midland.tx.us, www.midlandtxedc.com

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