SpaceX secures crucial Port of LA lease for Mars mission

City Council approved a lease to build interplanetary rockets at former Navy shipyard

Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX, Wikimedia Commons)
Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX, Wikimedia Commons)

The countdown begins.

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a lease agreement with SpaceX for a swath of real estate at the Port of Los Angeles, where the company plans to build its interplanetary Big Falcon Rocket, according to Curbed.

Elon Musk’s rocket company wants to build the giant rockets at the Port’s Terminal Island because they are too big to transport there via roadway from its Hawthorne manufacturing facility, which just hit the market. The rockets will be transported from the site out to sea on barges for testing.

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The property formerly served as the Southwest Marine shipyard, where the Navy built vessels during World War II. News broke of SpaceX’s plans when the Board of Harbor Commissioners approved a plan to build a production and development site for “specialized transportation vessels” submitted by a SpaceX subsidiary called WW Marine Composites.

A 150-foot-tall, 203,000-square-foot structure will eventually anchor the site, but Curbed reports that Space X will start with an 80,000-square-foot facility. The facility will employ around 700 people.

SpaceX will pay to develop the site and will not pay rent for 20 years, after which it will pay around $3 million annually to the city, which controls the Port of Los Angeles. [Curbed] – Dennis Lynch