FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                              PRESS CONTACT:

August 4, 2014                                                                Brenda Lopez 956.544.8352


PRESS RELEASE: Congressman Filemon Vela Notes Unique Educational and Economic Opportunities that Accompany SpaceX Decision to Build Launch Facility in South Texas


BROWNSVILLE, TX – Today, SpaceX announced their decision to select Boca Chica Beach—approximately 20 miles east of Brownsville--to serve as the location for their permanent rocket launch facility.  Brownsville will now be home to future launches of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy orbital vertical launch vehicles.  The proposed launch site could send up to 12 rockets a year into space both for private industry and possibly NASA.  It is estimated that each launch will bring thousands of tourists to Cameron County.  South Texas has been competing with Florida and Georgia for the launch site.  SpaceX was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk.


“Countless city, county, state, and federal officials have worked diligently with SpaceX for years to make today’s announcement a reality.  I congratulate all who helped bring SpaceX to South Texas, especially Mr. Elon Musk who saw the potential of our region through his vision about continued space exploration,” said Congressman Filemon Vela.  “The establishment of a SpaceX launch facility will be tremendously beneficial for South Texas' economy and provide unique educational opportunities for students, scientists, researchers and create jobs locally.  Already, there is a proposed project between the University of Texas at Brownsville and SpaceX, named STARGATE, which will allow students and faculty to use cutting-edge equipment to track satellites and spacecraft.  I will continue to support SpaceX and fellow community leaders as we move forward with the project."