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Musk's Company Gets OK to Build Rocket Factory

Wed April 25, 2018 - National Edition
Emily Buenzle

Elon Musk is at it again — this time, his sights are set on building a factory for SpaceX's rocket construction at the Port of Los Angeles.

Port officials and SpaceX have been in talks about the company using its 19-acre portion of land at Berth 240 on the harbor's waterfront since 2015. After a flurry of lease negotiations, the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners approved an agreement on April 19, where SpaceX will pay the Port $1.38 million each year, NBC 5 reported.

An Ideal Location

SpaceX Director of Construction and Real Estate Bruce McHugh told the Board that the location "is the perfect spot to build our big rocket." The rocket itself will measure almost 350 ft. tall by 30 ft. wide — so big that McHugh said the company required a building location near that water because the rocket is too large to load and transport by truck. Instead, a barge will be used to take the rocket, which will be made in two separate pieces, to the company's testing sites, NBC 5 reported.

According to McHugh, the company will take about one year to build an 80,000-sq.-ft., 80-ft.-tall fabrication hangar on the site.

"When we add onto it, it'll wind up being a total of a 200,000-sq.-ft. building, assuming everything works out for us," said McHugh. "We are building a ship that's never been built before. We are doing research and technology that's never been done."

SpaceX officials have said that early atmospheric tests on park of the rocket could start as early as 2019, and would probably occur at the company's Texas launch base, which is currently under construction, NBC 5 reported.

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