LA City Council Grants Final Permit for SpaceX’s New Research and Manufacturing Facility
SpaceX, the private rocket firm of high-tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, won final permission Tuesday to construct a research and manufacturing facility for its deep-space Starship mission on a tract of vacant land at the Port of Los Angeles.
The LA City Council gave the go-ahead for the plant by a unanimous 12-0 vote, paving the way for Musk. The founder of Tesla Inc. electrical automobile firm, to proceed with the accelerated development of a new spacecraft and rocket system designed to send humans to the moon and Mars.
The L.A. Board of Harbor Commissioners greenlit the 10-year permit last week.
Operations at the plant will be confined to research, design, and fabrication of aerospace parts. Space vehicles developed there are not approved for launch but will be carried out of the port complex by ship.
The council action makes way for SpaceX to start leasing 12.5 acres (5 hectares) of building on Terminal Island for its Starship facility at an initial rent of $1.7 million a year, with an option to increase its site to 19 acres.
SpaceX secured a similar approval two years ago; however, it canceled it and moved its preliminary section of the Starship undertaking to Texas, where the corporate has developed and tested an early prototype called Starhopper.
The Los Angeles Port site will convey further Starship development closer to SpaceX’s HQ in the L.A. suburb of Hawthorne, where it has built its workhorse Falcon 9 rockets and Dragon crew capsules.
The future plant, which may incorporate renovations to deserted warehouse and workshop structures on the site, is anticipated to provide 130 new jobs.