Aerospace & Defense

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Elon Musk: SpaceX to Build Starship and Rocket in Florida

26 Mar, 2019


According to a tweet by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, a nearly 400-foot tall, two-stage rocket will be built in Florida. On March 17, Musk tweeted:  "Working on regulatory approval for both Boca Chica, Texas, and Cape Kennedy, Florida. Will also be building Starship & Super Heavy simultaneously in both locations." Musk owns the rocket company SpaceX Inc.
 
A timeline of when SpaceX will begin building the 387-foot tall rocket and exactly where on Florida's Space Coast it would be built has not been determined, according to an article in the Orlando Business Journal. 
 
Last year, Musk revealed Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is paying SpaceX for a trip around the moon using the Starship, OBJ reported. The moon trip was slated for 2023, although, Musk said at the time that the date is not set in stone. "If everything goes right, then yes, 2023, but that is a big right. It's not 100 percent certain this will get to flight, but we are doing everything humanly possible to get it to flight."
 
The total cost of the rocket is said to be about $5 billion, and the launch is expected to take place from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A. SpaceX is progressing quickly to build a prototype of the Starship and perform a hopper test in Texas, wrote Matthew Richardson of the Orlando Business Journal.
 
The specific location where the rocket would be build in Florida has not yet been revealed. but OBJ says the company plans to build a 67-acre campus there. It was revealed last year that SpaceX plans to build a 480,000-square-foot SpaceX operations area and will include other structures on the campus such as:
 
A 133,000-square-foot, 100-foot-tall hangar for rockets
A 280,000-square-foot utility yard to prepare payloads
A 300-foot-tall, 32,000-square-foot launch-and-landing control center
A 2,500-square-foot security center
A rocket garden
 
The decision for SpaceX to build its largest, most powerful rocket in Florida is a big win for the state, as the company only transports its rockets to Florida and performs some refurbishment services on reusable rockets. By building a rocket of this size in the state, it would call for SpaceX to create many more high-wage jobs in the area, says Orlando Business Journal.
 
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