Space X debuts new rocket, hires more employees
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am
MCGREGOR -- If you've heard a loud bomb in McGregor, it's probably Space X testing their new rocket.
That's not the only thing they are doing. They are going to be doubling employment, meaning big money for the small town.
The Falcon 9 is a new rocket promising big things.The rocket will be used for astronaut and satellite transporting. Current rockets cost $435 million per launch. Falcon 9 is offered on the commercial market for $50-60 million. For government missions, NASA has added mission assurance and additional services to the Falcon 9 for less than $$20 million.
However, Space X employees in McGregor say the best part isn't the money it will save the government or the testing and developments.
It's the money coming in to the local community.
Bekim Lezi owns a local restaurant in McGregor. He says sounds of rocket testing means bigger business for him.
"Most of the business we get is from them [Space X employees] or some to go orders, or they come and dine in. It's a very good thing to happen," said Lezi.
Business is certain to pick up in McGregor since they debuted the new rocket.
CEO of Space X, Elon Musk, told Fox 44 they plan on doubling their staff at the test site in McGregor.
That means nearly 200 employees by the end of this year.
“Texas is where we do all of our engine development and stage testing. We have more than doubled the size of our property in Texas. It’s now more than 600 acres. We are expecting a significant workforce increase at our McGregor test site," said Musk.
In the past, people criticized Congress for only approving NASA projects that create jobs in their district.
Mayor Jim Herring says Space X proves that wrong.
"Politics aside, congressmen aside, pork barrel spending aside, whatever the term is that you want to use, Space X is a prime example of the best companies and the best resources is where the money is going to go," said Herring.
Herring says more importantly, more workers in McGregor means more money for struggling businesses.
"If we have more business, we can make it," said Lezi. "and it's a big help if the Space X gets more members, more employees."