Texas governor backs Musk’s Boca Chica
April 19, 2022
The past month or so has seen some serious doubts as to whether Elon Musk will continue SpaceX’s Starship work at its South Texas site at Boca Chica, near Brownsville. US environmental concerns and a much-awaited approval from the Federal Aviation Authority has seemingly forced Musk to make investments at Cape Kennedy where there are no environmental or related anxieties.
Governor Greg Abbott says he will work with Musk “very closely, every step of the way in Boca Chica for the future of SpaceX.”
Musk suggested at a February event that the company could shift test launches of its Starship vehicle from Texas to Florida if it ran into extended delays for environmental reviews needed for a launch licence there.
It is not at all clear what strings Abbott could pull to ensure the Boca Chica work could either continue or be advanced. The assorted licences come from several federal government agencies.
However, Abbott is extremely keen that real operational – and rocket launching – takes place from Texas, and not just an R&D effort. Texas views the huge commercial benefits that have accrued to Florida in and around the ‘Space Coast’ as being a tempting target for the region’s tourism.
“What I am going to do if Biden interferes with the ability of SpaceX to launch from Boca Chica; I am going to be working every step of the way to make sure that they are going to be able to launch from Boca Chica,” stated Abbott. “We heard the vision from Mr. Patel himself about what they are working on and our job is to make sure they are able to achieve their vision. And I have worked with Elon Musk very closely with regard to Tesla and the Giga factory in Austin, Texas. And we will be working with him very closely, every step of the way in Boca Chica for the future of SpaceX. We want that future and that vision to come from Boca Chica, from Brownsville, Texas.”