Cameron County facilitates path for Space X

In the 1950's Brownsville was considered as one of 10 possible launch sites for NASA, and 13 years ago there was a small rocket project in Willacy County.

However, now the reality of making space history is more in reach than ever for Cameron County.

Boca Chica Beach is the front runner for Space X - a company looking to set-up a commercial launch pad.

Gilberto Salinas, executive vice-president of the Brownsville Economic Development Council said the launch pad would be the first of its kind in the world.

"That's what's so special about this project, Salinas said. That TMs why it's a project of significance for Cameron County, for South Texas, and really for Texas."

To make sure the county is doing all it can to lock down Space X's pick for this one of a kind launch site, Cameron County commissioners appointed a seven-member Spaceport Development Corporation. Members include Chairman Nick Serafy, Jr. Vice-Chairman Yolanda de Leon, Brownsville City Manager Charlie Cabler, Robert Gracia, John Guevara, Ewing Sikes and Cristian Villarreal. Their task is to recruit aerospace industry to compliment Space X.

"I just see it as a win-win, as a game changer for the Rio Grande Valley," Serafy said of the project.

"If i'm doing business with space x, I want to set-up shop right next to them, because they are my client, Salinas added. It would have that effect. When you have that one big company come to town, you have a string of other companies also wanting to set up business."

Salinas also said despite some opposition, the benefits of the project outweigh the negatives .

A launch site on Boca Chica Beach would:- create an initial infrastructure investment of $80 million- 600 jobs with some of them paying up to $600,000- boost in the economy by $70 million per year- and it draw 7,000 to 10,000 tourists per month for the launches

The environmental impact study should be completed soon and despite some misinformation, Salinas said, the launch pad might actually benefit wildlife as it did in Cape Canaveral.

"The Bald Eagles, because of the actual launch site, I mean they TMre thriving. And that's what we're looking at here - to help protect the environment."

The next hearing for the project is scheduled for early May.