San Francisco: The Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR, which will be used to explore Mars — a goal that SpaceX CEO Elon Musk hopes to accomplish by 2022 — will be built in the Port of Los Angeles, media reports said.
According to a report in CNET on Saturday, the LA Board of Harbor Commissioners gave its unanimous approval to permit SpaceX to build the BFR Mars rocket at a new facility on Terminal Island at the Port of Los Angeles.
The report said the new rocket manufacturing facility would be built on a 19-acre parcel on the mostly artificial island that’s part of the port. The facility would provide employment to as many as 700 people, as per SpaceX.
The reason for building the rocket at the port and not at the company’s inland headquarters in Hawthorne, California, is due to the size of BFR.
BFR would be so large that it would have to be transported on an ocean-going barge to Cape Canaveral, Florida, via the Panama Canal.
As per the information provided by Musk, SpaceX’s huge new rocket would be nearly 350 feet tall and span 30 feet in diameter.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said on Twitter: “This is a vehicle that holds the promise of taking humanity deeper into the cosmos than ever before.”
“And this isn’t just about reaching into the heavens. It’s about creating jobs right here on Earth,” the Mayor added.
SpaceX would pay the Port of Los Angeles $1.38 million per year under its lease agreement for the Berth 240 location, Spaceflight Now website reported.