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.