The Midland, Texas city council today voted to renew its contract with the company managing its spaceport there.
The council voted 6-1 to renew its contract with SilverWing Enterprises, an aerospace consulting company that manages Midland’s spaceport license. The one vote came from Spencer Robnett, who has been public with his belief that the spaceport needs to be shut down.
“Yeah I don’t think it would ever have a chance in Midland,” Robnett said. “I do think the space business and space technology and aerospace sector is evolving. There’s a lot of money being invested in it by billionaires, Bezos, Musk, and Branson. Unfortunately we don’t have a billionaire in Midland chasing aerospace investment. We’ve got a small economic development corporation that takes direction from the city council.”
Robnett might have a point. Midland’s spaceport had been the base of operations for XCOR’s Lynx, and with XCOR bankrupt and gone there doesn’t seem to be a lot of interest by anyone else in flying any rockets from there. Part of their problem is their location, which is far from the coast and would likely limit the launch options in order to avoid populated areas.
The question has to be: What does Midland offer to rocket companies that other spaceports don’t? Until they can provide an answer to that question, the money the council is spending on this spaceport is probably going to waste.
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