The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration this week gave SpaceX permission to launch its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy spacecraft from a private site in Cameron County, Texas.
While the space company still needs approvals from local agencies before it can begin building a spaceport, the FAA decision is a major win for SpaceX, which hopes to eventually launch its vehicles from private property, rather than from the Air Force facilities it currently uses for missions to the International Space Station.
Under the FAA decision, SpaceX may conduct 12 commercial launches per year through 2025. Starting out, the site will host 30 full-time employees and contractors. The proposed site is along the Texas-Mexico border near Boca Choca State Park, about 20 miles east of Brownsville, Texas.