Though Elon Musk’s all-electric car venture has been derided by conservatives, the tech entrepreneur’s vision of a private space industry has the backing of at least one prominent Republican.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday signed legislation into law that would allow Boca Chica Beach to be temporarily closed for private rocket launches. Musk’s SpaceX is considering building a commercial launchpad nearby.
“Even as our country shifts towards a greater reliance on private space exploration, Gov. Perry believes that Texas will continue to be the home for the space industry, and this bill ensures that we remain on right path to solidifying that reality,” Perry spokesman Josh Havens told The Houston Chronicle.
The new law allows Texas officials to close the Boca Chica Beach for up to 12 rocket launches a year, except during weekends and summer holidays.
“We’ve balanced the people’s access to their beach at times of peak usage and we have shown a world-class company that Cameron County and Brownsville are doing everything in our power to bring them to South Texas,” state Rep. Rene Oliveira (D-Brownsville), who authored the bill, told The Brownsville Herald.
“The project will pay big dividends in jobs, home and auto sales, science and math curriculum, and national attention focused on our area.”
SpaceX became the first private company to deliver supplies to the International Space Station last year. The company’s Dragon cargo vessel was sent back to Earth days later.
Musk has said he hopes to revolutionize space travel by developing a fully reusable rocket. His ultimate goal is the colonization of other planets.
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