Elon Musk’s interest in Texas is increased with “Starbase” and the “Starlink” factory
Billionaire Elon Musk is always on the hunt for the innovative and this time he’s taking a step further in Texas with his plan to establish a “City of Starbase” and a brand new “Starlink” factory in Austin.
It is apparent in which direction SpaceX is moving and there are hints from three different sources about the company’s future impressive plan to broaden into Texas. Firstly, SpaceX’s CEO Elon Musk went on trusted Twitter to share his vision of a city in Texas called “Starbase”. The second clue comes from the company’s website, where one can find new job descriptions regarding a ‘‘state of the art’’ establishment for mass-manufacturing of Starlink satellites. Additionally, SpaceX recently took action in its prolonged legal battle about a methane-rich parcel, which is supposed to provide the fuel for “Starship”.
Elon has previously mentioned his intentions of relocating to Texas and even tweeted about selling all his physical possessions. (Texas is a state that does not enforce personal income tax, which would be a plus for the entrepreneur.) Back in July of 2020, Tesla’s CEO revealed that Tesla was building its next US factory in Austin. The business magnate has engaged in more projects in Texas even with California’s Coronavirus-related restraints. On the 2nd of March 2021, he tweeted about creating a city with the name “Starbase” in Texas, sharing his new idea, while his space company broadens its territory in the same state.
The first steps towards Texas were taken over 10 years ago and Musk is now determined to create a ‘‘gateway to Mars’’. SpaceX’s headquarters are currently in Hawthorne, California, however, the progress relating to the Mars rocket Starship is mainly achieved in Texas since the state is business-friendly. Regional and state stimulus and wealth of prime real estate for producing sustainable orbital-class rockets have also helped Elon and his scheduling.
Mr. Musk tweeted about ‘‘Creating the city of Starbase’’ and replied to a user that Starbase will cover ‘‘an area much larger than Boca Chica’’, which is a small community south of Texas that presently houses SpaceX’s thriving test and production facility for Starship.
SpaceX still hasn’t formally attempted to change Boca Chica’s name. According to Cameron Country’s officials, the only steps that have been taken are the company proposing to the officials the concept of incorporating a city in the near future. Eddie Treviño, who is a Cameron County Judge, declared that “If SpaceX and Elon Musk would like to pursue down this path, they must abide by all state incorporation statutes. Cameron County will process any appropriate petitions in conformity with applicable law.”
Elon’s tweet was shared at the same time that SpaceX published a new job opportunity for remote engineers in Austin. In the job description, it is mentioned that the space company is “breaking ground on a new, state of the art manufacturing facility” and the goal is to “manufacture millions of consumer-facing devices that we ship directly to customers (Starlink dishes, Wi-Fi routers, mounting hardware, etc).” It was also stated that “up to 25% travel to SpaceX Headquarters in Los Angeles, until Austin facility is fully established.” The Starlink Factory would be Elon’s second undertaking in the area of Austin. Back in 2020, the billionaire/engineer proclaimed that Tesla was going to build “Gigafactory Texas”, which is a $1 billion, 4-5 million square foot factory that is still under construction at present. Tesla’s CEO has stated that it will “basically be an ecological paradise” for the citizens and the company’s anticipated staff of 5,000 individuals.
The transition from California that Musk is undertaking is helping speed up SpaceX’s development in Austin, which was initiated eight years ago. Back in 2013, Texas established the Spaceport Development Corporation, which has ever since brought in $13.2 million in economic benefits for SpaceX. Moreover, the company’s rocket engine development factory in McGregor, Texas, is subject to $10 million worth of improvements (with $2 million in subsidies from local governments).
La Pita Wells
SpaceX, Dogleg Park, and Lone Star Mineral Development formed two LLCs, which in turn have been purchasing many of the property lands in Boca Chica around the company’s Starship facility. A couple of miles away from Boca Chica, Lone Star agreed on an oil and gas lease from Sanchez Oil and Gas Corporation to restore two inactive wells ‒ La Pita Wells. SpaceX aims to utilize the wells by extracting methane (which is one of the two propellants used for the new Raptor engine supplying power to the Starship).
However, it wouldn’t be a true Elon project (like SpaceX) if it didn’t involve some obstacles. Lone Star’s offer to manage the wells is currently challenged by a legal matter. Dallas Petroleum Group, which is an oil and gas company located in the south of Texas, claims that the wells are in its ownership. In the legal action against SpaceX’s LLCs and Sanchez, Dallas Petroleum Group is requesting that the court orders Sanchez to transfer the wells back to DPG. SpaceX’s Lone Star pleads that the wells have been inactive for so long as to make them available for a new lease. Lone Star’s lawyers provided in their closing statement that DPG “is not really planning to operate the La Pita Wells” and that the legal action meaning to nullify Lone Star’s lease is only “part of its plan to extract money from SpaceX.”
At the beginning of the year’s hearings, a lawyer for Lone Star expressed that “The hope is that [SpaceX] can produce these properties by reentering these inactive wells and restoring the production for use in connection with their rocket facility operations.” The latest developments are that the Lone Star representation indicated that SpaceX and its LLC “have a unique ability to utilize the natural gas with different economic incentives…”
Lastly, when you go to SpaceX’s website and its career section, you can see the company is in search of a legal counsel who is prepared to “negotiate complex construction and vendor contracts related to space/airport infrastructure development.”
Let us hope that Elon’s projects go as planned and he manages to handle the situations arising. After all, he’s responsible for so much at the moment and he’s also in a battle for the “world’s richest person” with Jeff Bezos.