Two states that are among the biggest movers and shakers in the US space economy are fighting back against federal decision-making, albeit in very different ways.
Senators Michael Bennet (D) and John Hickenlooper (D) and Reps Doug Lamborn (R) and Jason Crow (D) released a joint statement Monday:
- “We have said before that the US Space Command basing decision was the result of a flawed and untested process that lacked transparency and neglected key national security and cost considerations.”
- “After reviewing the draft GAO report, we are even more concerned about the questionable decision” to move SPACECOM from Colorado to Alabama.
Backstory: In its final days, the Trump administration decided to relocate SPACECOM from Colorado Springs to Huntsville, AL. The US’s General Accountability Office (GAO) and Pentagon auditors are reviewing the decision. The DoD has said it would revisit the rebasing decision if improprieties were found.
Gov. Greg Abbott says he will do everything he can to ensure SpaceX launches Starship from Starbase, the Rio Grande Guardian reports.
- “What I am going to do if Biden interferes with the ability of SpaceX to launch from Boca Chica; I am going to be working every step of the way to make sure that they are going to be able to launch from Boca Chica,” Abbott said. “We will be working with [Elon] very closely, every step of the way.”
Backstory: Last week, Bloomberg reported that the US Army Corps of Engineers blocked SpaceX plans to expand Starbase. The Army Corps told SpaceX via letter that it had failed to provide all the information requested and needed for expansion approval. While the South Texas permit can likely be reopened again, SpaceX is also clearly making contingency plans to orbitally test—and eventually launch—Starship from Florida.