The World’s First Commercial Space Launchpad is to be in South Texas

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Elon Musk has announced that Space X is to build the world's first commercial space launchpad near Brownsville in south Texas, reportedly America's most impoverished region.

The state is pushing over $15 million (£8.9m) into the facility, which is hoped to create 300 jobs and inject $85 million (£50.4m) in capital investment into the local economy. The cash injection comes from numerous sources, including $2.3 million (£1.4m) from the Texas Enterprise Fund and $5 million (£2.9m) from the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation.

Governor Rick Perry explained that "Texas has been on the forefront of our nation's space exploration efforts for decades, so it is fitting that SpaceX has chosen our state as they expand the frontiers of commercial space flight." The plan is contingent upon final approval of local agreements and receipt of additional required permits, but, otherwise, an economy in need looks like it's about to get a hi-tech shot in the arm. [Bloomberg, Governor Rick Perry via Verge]