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Thu, May 17, 2012

FAA Hosts Public Hearing For New SpaceX Facility

New Satellite Launch Site Proposal Well-Received

Hundreds turned out in Brownsville, TX on Tuesday for a public hearing on the proposed SpaceX satellite launch site in Cameron County, and virtually all comments showed a supportive public. According to Gilberto Salinas, spokesman for the Brownsville Economic Development Council, except for a few people voicing concern for area wildlife, dozens of others voiced their support for the new venture.

The hearing was hosted by the FAA as a way to assess the proposal by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) for a launch facility in Cameron Country. The meeting attracted an estimated 500 people.

Rural Cameron County is one of three sites being considered for a new SpaceX launch site. The other two sites are in Florida and Puerto Rico. Steve Davis, SpaceX’s project leader for the Brownsville site  told The Brownsville Herald “It is really important to go to a place that wants us to be there and to know both the positive impacts and the negative impacts and really judge that. That is kind of the stage we are in right now. It has been very, very positive, which has been great.” Davis said of community response.

SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, CA, already has an active launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and is currently developing a launch site at Vandenburg Air Force Base in California. The company also operates a rocket development facility in McGregor, about 18 miles southwest of Waco, TX.

According to the Federal Register, SpaceX proposes to build a vertical launch area and a control center to support up to 12 commercial launches per year. The vehicles launched would include the Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and smaller reusable, suborbital launch vehicles.

All facilities would be built on private land owned or leased by SpaceX.

FMI: www.spacex.com

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