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SpaceX to launch Texas into the stratosphere with new facility

Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Monday that his state will be home to the first commercial launch facility for SpaceX, the space transport company headquartered in California.

SpaceX will launch rockets and build a control center in Cameron, County, near Brownsville. The facility is also expected to support 12 commercial launches per year, according to The Brownsville Herald.

To help secure the deal, Texas offered SpaceX $15.3 million in incentives to bring the launch facility to the state. It is expected to create 300 new jobs and pump $85 million in capital investment into the local economy, according to the governor’s press release.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, the first private company to successfully send a spacecraft to the International Space Station, said his company is “excited to expand” its work in Texas “with the world’s first commercial launch complex designed specifically for orbital missions.” He also said the move will be a win for the economy and education, by inspiring students and attracting tourists to the area.

Musk is also CEO of Tesla Motors, the Silicon Valley electric car maker.

Gov. Perry said in a statement 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. He also said the facility will offer increased opportunity for the “next generation of Texas engineers and innovators.”

SpaceX first started talks with the State of Texas back in 2011. The space cargo company has operated a facility for rocket development in McGregor, Texas since 2003.