More from Texas where the State, universities and the city of Brownsville want SpaceX to build their new.commercial spaceport there. This would eventually include a new factory for a big new super heavy rocket.
SpaceX is of course playing it coy, but they've been buying up properties left and right using a front outfit called Dogleg Park (a dogleg is a turn rockets make to change orbital inclination.)
Why Brownsville? A near perfect US territory location for geosynchronous satellite launches, and for missions to Mars.http://themonitor.co...19bb30f31a.html
UT System proposes research partnership with SpaceX in Brownsville
McALLEN — The University of Texas System proposed Brownsville as the site of the “first designated research unit” for the Valley’s new university in partnership with SpaceX, according to a recently release August letter.
It remains to be seen if the private space transport company will settle its launch pad at a site outside of Brownsville, but UT System has already offered a suggestion. The proposed program called Stargate would partner SpaceX with the University of Texas at Brownsville’s Center for Advanced Radio Astronomy, UT System Chancellor Francisco wrote in the letter dated Aug. 19. It is addressed to SpaceX CEO and chief designer Elon Musk.
Citing the Valley’s new developing university, the letter suggests an in-person meeting to discuss Stargate. A meeting between Musk and Cigarroa has not yet been scheduled, UT System spokeswoman Jenny LaCoste-Caputo said in an email Monday. SpaceX said it could not respond to a request for comment for this article by press time Monday.
“The transformative vision for the new university in many ways parallels that of SpaceX,” Cigarroa’s letter reads. “While SpaceX is interested in advancing the state of rocket technology and blazing a new path for space exploration, the new university in South Texas is interested in advancing the use of next-generation technology to promote student learning and exploring ways to leverage university assets (e.g., the Texas Advanced Computing Center located at U. T. Austin), faculty expertise, and innovation to solve regional and global problems.”
SpaceX sent the following statement Tuesday in response to questions about the status of negotiations and whether the company partners with education institutions near its existing facilities.
"Brownsville, Texas is the frontrunner in SpaceX’s search for a new commercial launch site, but we continue to work with Florida, Georgia and Puerto Rico as possibilities. SpaceX hopes to make a decision by the end of this year. We appreciate the local and statewide community’s support of SpaceX’s efforts toward this possible commercial orbital launch complex, including the efforts of the Texas Legislature, Governor Perry’s office, the General Land Office, the University of Texas system, and local elected officials. Specific negotiations are considered confidential."
The location outside of Brownsville is about 5 miles south of Port Isbael and South Pardre Island, according to The Brownsville Herald.
The company, which began to buy the Cameron County land in June 2012, now owns 12 lots, The Herald reported in August. The site is off State Highway 4, about a quarter-mile from Boca Chica Beach.
The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered an environmental impact study. Texas officials continue to work on a final incentive package to sweeten the potential SpaceX deal, according to a Houston Chronicle report from earlier this month. However, Musk’s other venture — electric car company Tesla — has been less successful in convincing lawmakers for a break into the Texas market, the report said.
UT System named other Stargate partners it plans to loop in for research to spread any financial burden or in administrative speak, allow for the “collaboration and leveraging of resources,” according to the letter.
These partners include the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Naval Research Laboratory, and Cornell University’s Department of Space Science.
The correspondence invites Musk for a meeting “to discuss the unique skills, abilities, research, and creative environment needed to support the successful launch of SpaceX in South Texas.”
The chancellor wrote that because the university is under development, there is the opportunity to integrate needs of companies like SpaceX and others into the design of curriculum and research as the businesses work closely with faculty and academic leadership.
“The U. T. System employs world-class faculty members conducting innovative research in science, math, engineering, technology, and health, who are ready and able to collaborate and provide research and expertise as needed to this new endeavor,” the letter said of SpaceX.
The chancellor will host several meetings in Harlingen and Brownsville Tuesday with students, faculty and staff. He is set to discuss the creation of the new university with an integrated medical school under what is being called, for now, Project South Texas.