XCOR Aerospace will create a Commercial Space Research and Development Center at Midland, Texas, International Airport.
Gov. Rick Perry said XCOR, which develops and produces reusable launch vehicles, rocket engines and rocket propulsion systems, will create 100 jobs on the flight line at Midland International Airport. The center will be housed in a newly renovated 60,000-square-foot hangar, which will include office space and a test facility. The renovation is expected to begin in early 2013, and be completed by the late autumn.
"XCOR will be upgrading an existing hangar at Midland International Airport," stated Marv Esterly, director of airports. "This new R&D facility has the potential to open the door to even more economic development at our airport and for our community."
XCOR's new headquarters will focus on development of the Lynx, the company's next generation reusable launch vehicle. Lynx is a two-seat suborbital vehicle that takes off and lands like normal aircraft. The vehicle will carry a pilot and one spaceflight passenger, and will provide affordable launch services for academic, scientific and engineering markets.
The firm received an estimated $10 million incentive package, along with its lease agreement, from the Midland Council and Development Authority. Gov Perry said; "We've built a place where employers know they're safe to invest in their business and watch it grow. We've built a place where they won't be hindered by exorbitant taxes wrapped up in bureaucratic red tape or find themselves at the mercy of predatory attorneys. We've built a place with a world-class workforce that's capable of fulfilling whatever needs an employer has."
"We are pleased to be establishing our R&D Center in Midland, Texas, where the weather, surrounding landscape, the airport, and the local and state government environment are ideally situated for the future growth and the ultimate realization of a fully reusable orbital system," Andrew Nelson, chief operating officer of XCOR Aerospace, said. "With future suborbital operational sites on the East and West Coasts of the United States and around the world, plus a manufacturing and test facility geographically separate from our R&D facility, Midland will truly be at the heart of XCOR's innovation engine."
Midland Development Corp. Executive Director Pam Welch said; "Once the technical and operational needs of XCOR were met, the final factors influencing the decision to locate R&D to Midland included the friendly business climate, a predictable regulatory environment and the State of Texas tort reform initiatives. These factors allowed XCOR to see a long term future happening in Midland."