It has been reported on the Texas Governor’s web-site that the world’s first spaceport is to appear 27 km away to the north-east of Brownsville. The project has already been approved by Brownsville’s mayor and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
Plans have it that the spaceport’s annual throughput will be 12 space launch vehicles. It is to be used both for NASA purposes and for private companies’ projects. The new spaceport will create 300 jobs, the state’s benefit amounting to around $85 mln. So, the authorities are expected to invest some $15 million in it.
The project was initiated by SpaceX company, namely, Elon Musk, its founder and chief designer (and PayPal originator). The company specializes in manufacturing and launching Falcon space launch vehicles and Dragon recoverable capsules.
The first three attempts to launch Falcon family space launch vehicles failed. Only the fourth one was a success, with Falcon-1 placing into orbit a test payload of 165 kg and, a year later, – Malaysia’s RazakSAT satellite.
In 2010, the new Falcon-9 delivered a Dragon spaceship to the earth orbit, which, having accomplished its mission, splashed down successfully in the Pacific Ocean. In 2012, the Dragon spaceship delivered its first cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). Later, SpaceX and NASA concluded a $1.6 bln contract for Dragon to take another 12 space flights to the ISS.
Currently, SpaceX is developing a new Falcon modification – Falcon Heavy, while launching space vehicles, using the Cape Caneveral spaceport and Vandenberg Airforce base.