Let it never be said that PayPal co-founder Elon Musk dreams small. These days Musk is the CEO of SpaceX, a company focused on commercializing space travel. SpaceX made headlines recently for their plans to send one of their rockets on an unmanned test flight to the International Space Station. Now the company has yet again demonstrated its long-term commitment to pushing forward the boundaries of space travel with plans to build a commercial spaceport near the coast of Texas.
Ars Technica reports that SpaceX has filed a notice of intent with the Federal Aviation Administration, announcing their plans to conduct an “Environmental Impact Study” to examine the feasibility of such a project. This is obviously a long way from actually breaking ground on the project, but it’s a necessary first step. Assuming they get approval and all goes as planned, the new spaceport could be constructed in Cameron County, Texas, near the Gulf of Mexico. The location on the water would allow them to launch their vehicles eastward, out over the ocean where it’s less likely to rain hellfire down on a suburban housing development if anything ever goes wrong.
According to the filing, SpaceX plans to conduct as many as 12 commercial launches per year from the port. Aside from the exciting prospect of inching us closer to the distant dream of affordable commercial spaceflight, the spaceport could bring many jobs to the surrounding areas, which is something even the most corrupt politician would likely want as bragging rights. And hey, if a commercial entity starts doing amazing things in space, maybe it will shame the government out of cutting NASA’s funding to ribbons.