TXA Urges Texas to Seize the Day on Gulf Coast Spaceport

TXA PR — AUSTIN, TX – The Texas Space Alliance (TXA) urged government leaders at all levels to support efforts to build a Texas Orbital Space Port and redouble any efforts now underway to recruit commercial space firms to operate in Texas and fly from the Lone Star State’s southern coast. Citing high level moves in other states such as Florida and Virginia to recruit these new companies using tax, property, and other incentives, TXA warned Texas could miss an opportunity to become the next Space Coast in competition with Florida, and the potentially billions of dollars and large numbers of jobs such a facility might create.

“There is a narrow and closing window of opportunity right now and if Texas doesn’t act soon, we will lose another chance to not only save space jobs, but create even more with a truly thriving space industry in this state,” commented TXA’s Rick Tumlinson.

TXA wants to see a united effort including legislators, municipalities, businesses, and land owners to structure property, tax, and policy incentives to give Texas a winning edge over other locations vying to be home to the world’s first commercial orbital space port. This facility could serve both existing and emerging space launch companies such as SpaceX, which recently announced it is looking for a new location for its commercial launches. SpaceX alone has customers booked out to 2015 and beyond for multiple flights worth nearly a billion dollars, not counting the $1.6B to $3.1B value of its cargo & crew launches for NASA. Other Texas firms and institutions could also benefit from local access to space, from rocket companies to service, support, and research organizations.

“Just as the old space program is winding down, Texas has the chance to be home to a new space industry,” said TXA’s Policy Director Wayne Rast. “Rather than fighting for museum pieces from the past, we can leverage the long space legacy built around Johnson Space Center and create new wealth, new jobs, and a new direction for space workers and researchers, while creating future opportunities for our next generation.”

TXA points out the Texas coast was considered with Florida at the inception of the US space program. It was again extensively studied in the late ‘90s – before the birth of the current generation of commercial spaceflight firms. There is an extensive body of law still on the books in Texas to facilitate spaceport development and operations, as well as studies of trajectories to safely launch from the Texas Coast to space facilities in orbit and beyond – including the Moon and Mars.

Tumlinson concluded: “Like the seaports of the world, those places that become points of departure and return for voyages to space will in the future develop into major economic and cultural engines for our economy, assuring Texas’s place at the center of what we believe is going to be the opening of the grandest frontier of all time.”