SpaceX, one of the companies building the next generation of American spacecraft, is apparently considering opening its own private airfield in Texas. Ars Technica and enthusiast site HobbySpace have found a Federal Aviation Administration document (PDF) in which SpaceX announces it will begin scoping out Cameron County, located at the southern tip of Texas, as a future launch site that could support up to 12 commercial launches per year. If it goes ahead with the plan, it would apply for FAA permits before launching Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy orbital craft over the Gulf of Mexico.
Currently, SpaceX uses a government launch site at Cape Canaveral, and the report doesn't hint at when it may start building this base or whether it would be used on its planned missions to resupply the International Space Station. If this successor to Virgin Galactic's field is built, it would mark another move away from government-funded space programs and towards a future where private companies both take the risks and reap the rewards of exploration.