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Texas grants $5 million grants to two spaceport regions

Texas today awarded $5 million grants to two spaceport regions, one in Houston and the other in Cameron County where SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility is located.

Governor Greg Abbott today announced Spaceport Trust Fund grant awards of $5,000,000 to the Cameron County Spaceport Development Corporation and $5,000,000 to the Houston Spaceport Development Corporation. Administered by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism, the Spaceport Trust Fund is a financial tool to support the development of infrastructure necessary for establishing a spaceport in the state of Texas. The 87th Legislature appropriated $10,000,000 in funds in fiscal year 2022 to provide grants, disbursed on a cost-reimbursement basis, to help support the creation of quality jobs and attract continuing investments that will strengthen the economic future of the state.

The money is obviously intended to help pay for things like roads and bridges and other various improvements required to handle the increased traffic and population brought to the locations because of the new spaceport activity.

One wonders, however, why Houston got as much as the Boca Chica area. As far as I know, there is no spaceport begin built near Houston. It houses the Johnson Space Center, but that handles activities prior to and after launch.

I suspect there was some politics involved. Abbott couldn’t award Boca Chica while ignoring Houston, especially because Houston’s importance in the space industry is presently declining as the industry moves from a government-run model (epitomized by the Johnson center) to a private commercial model (epitomized by SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility). Abbott probably felt obliged to send some support Houston’s way to avoid accusations that he is ignoring its increasingly problematic position.

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  • LocalFulff

    But have they taken inventory of how every creep in local and federal authorities will be affected by the rocket engine emissions of water and CO2?

  • Jeff Wright

    JSC doesn’t even build anything.

  • Robert Pratt

    More state reps and senators from Houston area than any other. I think they have named Ellington Field a space port. City of Houston operates it

  • Robert Pratt

    More on Space Port Houston

  • Doubting Thomas

    Looks to me like Spaceport Houston is more like an industrial park than an actual launching pad or runway to space.

    Still glad to see Texas entering the space age for itself and recognizing the gem that they may have in Boca Chica.

  • Doubting Thomas

    Robert – Have you seen this?

    From one source (Parabolic Arc) it looks like US Department of the Interior is going to drop da bomb on SpaceX and require a multi-year environmental impact statement prior to any Starship launches at Boca Chica. I may have wasted $400 at Starship Ranch to get a good Starship first flight seat for my son and me. We will see.

    Here are some facts about the Biden Secretary of the Interior drawn from the Boston Globe:

    Debra Anne Haaland serves as the 54th United States Secretary of the Interior. A member of the Democratic Party, she served as chair of the New Mexico Democratic Party from 2015 to 2017 and as the U.S. representative for New Mexico’s 1st congressional district from 2019 to 2021. Haaland has partial Native American ancestry and is an enrolled member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe.

    She is a political progressive who supports the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. Her appointment is seen as a chance to set right the many betrayals of land ownership and use. Among them is the twisted saga of the Interior Department’s Land and Water Conservation Fund, which was designed to protect and expand access to public lands but which has been raided and abused for more than half a century.

  • Doubting Thomas: This post is essentially a retread of what I posted on December 23rd, when I noted that the FAA reassessment needed approval from both NOAA and the Interior Department, and both appears quite hostile to approving it.

    I then predicted Starship would not fly “until the latter half of ’22, if then.” I suspect I was unfortunately being optimistic.

  • Doubting Thomas

    Ah…Ok – I think I agree that you were optimistic, unfortunately. Interior Dept hostility seems a good word. I’ve written Gov Abbott but doubt this is a big deal to him.

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