Author Topic: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations  (Read 17017 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« on: 03/09/2011 02:39 pm »
Presser:

SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations

New Lease Gives Company Space to Grow in McGregor

 

McGregor, TX – Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and the City of McGregor today signed a lease agreement allowing SpaceX to expand the size of its rocket development facility in McGregor.

 

Under the deal, SpaceX will lease 631 acres -- the equivalent of almost 500 football fields -- for its test facility. The new lease will more than double the size of the current 256 acre site on the Western edge of the City of McGregor, and will last roughly 10 years, from February 2011 to January 31, 2021.

 

“Our Texas rocket development facility is critical to our operations,” said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and Chief Technology Officer.  “This lease will allow us to move forward on the growth we have planned for Texas. SpaceX already has more than $2.5 billion in launch contracts for us to carry out over the next few years – McGregor is going to be a very busy place.”

 

The McGregor city council voted unanimously to support the proposal on Friday, February 25, 2011. The final contract was signed today.

 

SpaceX designs, manufactures, tests, and launches reliable, safe and affordable rockets that carry satellites and spacecraft to orbit, and spacecraft to transport cargo and eventually astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Every Merlin engine that powers the company’s Falcon 9 rocket and every Draco thruster that controls its Dragon spacecraft is first tested on the ground in Texas before launch. 

 

Since starting operations in Texas in 2003, SpaceX has invested $50 million in McGregor and expects to have at least 140 employees by year’s end. Texas operations in McGregor will continue to expand to support dozens of upcoming launches already under contract, with more on the way.  In addition, SpaceX is in negotiations with NASA to develop and test a launch abort system for the Dragon spacecraft. That development will begin in McGregor.

 

On December 8, 2010, SpaceX became the first commercial company to successfully return a spacecraft from orbit, a feat achieved by only a few nations in the history of space travel.  The December flight was SpaceX’s first demonstration flight under NASA’s COTS program to develop commercial supply services to the International Space Station. SpaceX will fly at least 12 missions as part of a $1.6 billion contract for NASA to carry cargo to and from the Space Station after the Space Shuttle program ends later this year.  Both the Dragon spacecraft and SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket were designed from the beginning to carry astronauts and are well positioned to fly the first-ever commercial, manned space missions.

 

The growth in McGregor is reflective of growth company wide.  SpaceX now employs over 1,250 employees since being founded in 2002 and the company has been profitable since 2007.  In addition to the McGregor site SpaceX has headquarters in Hawthorne, CA; launch facilities at the Air Force Station at Cape Canaveral and the Reagan Test Site (RTS) at U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA); and offices in Chantilly, VA, Huntsville, AL and Washington, DC.


Offline apace

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #1 on: 03/09/2011 04:40 pm »
One month ago rumors about layoffs and now, double of testing range... we can expect new rocket engines in the long run I belive ;-)

Offline billh

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #2 on: 03/09/2011 06:10 pm »
One month ago rumors about layoffs and now, double of testing range... we can expect new rocket engines in the long run I belive ;-)

I think it was more than rumors. However, it sounds like they were outsourcing some functions instead of downsizing.

Offline Joris

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #3 on: 03/09/2011 06:20 pm »
One month ago rumors about layoffs and now, double of testing range... we can expect new rocket engines in the long run I belive ;-)

I think it was more than rumors. However, it sounds like they were outsourcing some functions instead of downsizing.

Or just firing construction crews, since they were done building.

Good thing they're growing IMHO.
JIMO would have been the first proper spaceship.

Offline apace

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #4 on: 03/09/2011 06:26 pm »
Or just firing construction crews, since they were done building.
Good thing they're growing IMHO.

If I remember correctly the officaly told that, that they outsource construction and maintenance work. And if you look at their open job listings, they are looking for new engineers at McGregor. Good signs!

Offline ugordan

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #5 on: 03/09/2011 06:27 pm »
Or just firing construction crews, since they were done building.

Good thing they're growing IMHO.

Um, isn't this kind of contradictory? Especially given that they now leased an additional 2x more land than they had up until now?

Unless they plan on running 500 simultaneous football games there, I don't see how they would stop construction.

Offline apace

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #6 on: 03/09/2011 06:31 pm »
Or just firing construction crews, since they were done building.

Good thing they're growing IMHO.

Um, isn't this kind of contradictory? Especially given that they now leased an additional 2x more land than they had up until now?

Unless they plan on running 500 simultaneous football games there, I don't see how they would stop construction.

They announced to outsource the construction works. Perhaps a political deal with the local business to be the good guy.

Offline Rhyshaelkan

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #7 on: 03/09/2011 06:31 pm »
Good stuff. Rock on SpaceX!
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Offline Cherokee43v6

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #8 on: 03/09/2011 06:39 pm »
Or just firing construction crews, since they were done building.

Good thing they're growing IMHO.

Um, isn't this kind of contradictory? Especially given that they now leased an additional 2x more land than they had up until now?

Unless they plan on running 500 simultaneous football games there, I don't see how they would stop construction.

They announced to outsource the construction works. Perhaps a political deal with the local business to be the good guy.

Pure speculation, but hiring local companies to do the work could have been a preliminary stipulation for acquiring the 500 acres from the town.
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Offline Joris

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #9 on: 03/09/2011 07:22 pm »
Or just firing construction crews, since they were done building.

Good thing they're growing IMHO.

Um, isn't this kind of contradictory? Especially given that they now leased an additional 2x more land than they had up until now?

Unless they plan on running 500 simultaneous football games there, I don't see how they would stop construction.

I don't think the people who will build these new facilities are the ones that have build all other spacex facilities.
JIMO would have been the first proper spaceship.

Offline Nomadd

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #10 on: 03/09/2011 07:33 pm »
 Only 13,000 acres to go before they pass Stennis.
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Online Halidon

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #11 on: 03/09/2011 08:41 pm »
Real hard to read that and not assume "more motors, bigger motors" but that would incur the wrath of Jim so I'll simply say: Interesting.
« Last Edit: 03/09/2011 08:41 pm by Halidon »

Offline Joris

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #12 on: 03/09/2011 09:27 pm »
Real hard to read that and not assume "more motors, bigger motors" but that would incur the wrath of Jim so I'll simply say: Interesting.

 :D, I'll join you at the 'interesting' - side.
JIMO would have been the first proper spaceship.

Online docmordrid

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #13 on: 03/09/2011 10:03 pm »
The first blush has to be Merlin 2, what ever form it takes, and Raptor are green lighted.
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Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #14 on: 03/09/2011 11:44 pm »
Huh? 

How do you get Merlin 2 and Raptor?

Merlin2 is to replace 9 Merlin 1's.  They already test the F9 first stage their with 9 engines.  So, using logic and not unwarranted fanboi speculation, there is no need for infrastructure changes for Merlin 2.  And there still is no indication for Merlin 2 development.

As for Raptor, again no indication for it. 

What is Spacex looking to do next other than F9H?  Not Merlin 2, not Raptor, but commercial crew.  So logic would say this extra area is for Dragon LAS and maybe powered landing testing.

Online docmordrid

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #15 on: 03/10/2011 12:40 am »
Wouldn't they do a Dragon LAS free flight or drop test at Edwards etc. because of the hypergolics?  Downtown McGregor is just 3 miles NE, and most likely down wind.

A tethered test at McGregor maybe, but would they need several hundred acres for that?
« Last Edit: 03/10/2011 12:42 am by docmordrid »
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Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #16 on: 03/10/2011 12:43 am »
Wouldn't they do a free flight or drop test at Edwards because of the hypergolics?  Downtown McGregor is just 3 miles NE, and most likely down wind.

A tethered test at McGregor maybe, but would they need several hundred acres for that?


Where do you think they test the Dracos?

Online docmordrid

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #17 on: 03/10/2011 12:44 am »
C'mon - there's a helluva quantitative and safety difference between teasing Dracos on a stand and flying a crew Dragon.
« Last Edit: 03/10/2011 12:48 am by docmordrid »
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Offline Jim

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Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #19 on: 03/10/2011 12:53 am »
C'mon - there's a helluva quantitative and safety difference between teasing Dracos on a stand and flying a crew Dragon.

Who said flying.

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