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Houston Spaceport Kicks Off Construction

Officials held a groundbreaking ceremony at Ellington Airport Friday.

Officials ceremonially break ground on Phase 1 of the Houston Spaceport on Friday, June 28, 2019.

The construction of the Houston Spaceport is now officially underway.

The vision for the spaceport is for commercial space companies to have aircraft take off from Ellington Airport and fly into space over the Gulf of Mexico.

Phase 1 of the spaceport’s development entails building infrastructure, including streets, water and electricity.

“We’re truly excited about this important next step in the evolving vision of the Houston Spaceport,” Mario Diaz, director of the Houston Airport System, said at the groundbreaking ceremony on the southwest corner of Ellington Friday. “And to help write the next chapter in the Houston Spaceport city legacy.”

The infrastructure will be the foundation to attract companies to move here, Arturo Machuca, general manager for the Houston Spaceport and Ellington Airport, said.

“We are targeting aviation and aerospace companies, companies that are building the components to keep us in the air if you will, that take us into space,” he said.

Two companies, Intuitive Machines and Trumbull Unmanned are already on site, and Machuca said he expects to announce the addition of a large anchor tenant by mid-July.

Last month, NASA selected Intuitive Machines to develop, launch and land its Nova-C spacecraft on the moon in 2021.

San Jacinto College also has a building on the Spaceport property, called the Edge Center. It plans to offer aerospace work training here.

“We want to make sure this workforce has the skills, the competencies and the training to really make sure we move this industry forward,” Brenda Hellyer, chancellor of San Jacinto College, said.

Last month, the Houston City Council approved the college’s annexation of 154 acres of the Houston Spaceport, so it can collect property taxes from it.

Completion of Phase I is expected in May 2020.

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Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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