All systems go for Elon Musk’s SpaceX at the Port of Los Angeles

The Los Angeles City Council yesterday approved a lease agreement for Elon Musk’s SpaceX to build rockets capable of interplanetary travel at a disused shipyard at the Port of Los Angeles.

SpaceX will construct a new manufacturing facility for its Big Falcon Rocket, which Musk has predicted will be capable of reaching Mars by 2022.

“This is game-changing for our city,” said council member Joe Buscaino. He said that the facility would be a “landing ground for innovation” at the city’s port.

SpaceX is leasing Southwest Marine Shipyard from the Port of Los Angeles for up to 30 years. Southwest Marine is the last remaining example of the once booming shipbuilding industry at the Port of Los Angeles.

The site was first developed for shipbuilding in 1918. During its heyday the yard set world speed records for delivering ships.

In recent years its industrial setting has been used as a backdrop on a number of Hollywood movies, including Spider-Man, Charlie’s Angels and Live Free or Die Hard, among many others.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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