SpaceX wants $5M more in Texas funding for spaceport

A SpaceX Dragon approaches the International Space Station on Monday, June 5, 2017, making an unprecedented second trip to the orbiting outpost. The Dragon supply ship, recycled following a 2014 flight, was launched from Florida on Saturday. (NASA TV via AP)

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) — SpaceX is seeking up to $5 million more in new state funding to build a commercial spaceport in Texas, a high-profile project that’s behind schedule after breaking ground in 2014.
SpaceX is seeking the money to help build infrastructure related to the launch facility at Boca Chica beach outside Brownsville, the Austin American-Statesman reported .
The Cameron County Spaceport Development Corp. recently applied for the $5 million at the request of SpaceX, according to county Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. The new money for the project would come from the Spaceport Trust Fund, a state economic development fund.
The application was due last month. Gov. Greg Abbott’s economic development and tourism division is currently considering the application, said a spokeswoman for the governor.
About $15.3 million in state funding has already been set aside for the planned spaceport, but less than $3 million has been used so far. SpaceX has also returned a small portion of the funds pledged from the state’s jobs-focused Texas Enterprise Fund because the company fell short of hiring goals as the project couldn’t keep pace with its original timetable.
The California-based company was founded by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk with the goal of reducing the cost of space travel and eventually facilitating the colonization of Mars.
Musk initially said that SpaceX will invest $100 million at the site, predicting it could send up rockets by late 2016, however that date has since been pushed to at least late 2018.

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