County leaders approve creation of Spaceport Development Corp.

The Midland County Commissioners’ Court approved a resolution to authorize the creation of the Midland Spaceport Development Corp. on Monday.

Sara Harris from the Midland Development Corp. said the establishment of the spaceport corporation will enable Midland to be eligible for funding from the state.

County commissioners approved their half of the interlocal agreement, the City of Midland must approve it as well. The Midland City Council will take up the item at its meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

According to Harris, there was previously a spaceport development corporation in Midland in 2014 but it was dissolved in 2020. Harris said it is now the right time to re-form it.

Last month, Kepler Aerospace announced a partnership with Space Nation to bring space simulations to Midland. The co-founder of Space Nation, Kalle Vähä-Jaakkola, summed up the possibility of Midland being the future destination for American space travel.

“Midland connects the resourcefulness of pioneers, the boldness of wildcatters and the ingenuity of the oil and gas industry in a unique way. These skills and attitudes built the modern world and will build our future cities and industries in space. As Midland once was the pathway to the western expansion of the United States, it will now be the pathway to humanity’s expansion to space, making Midland one of a kind place on Earth,” he said.

Harris said the Spaceport Development Corp. is a vehicle through which Midland can receive state funding for aerospace economic development. The Spaceport Development Corp. would use state funding to build additional infrastructure at the spaceport.

“Having the Spaceport Development Corp. active in Midland puts us in a better position to show that we’re serious about our spaceport development and we want to have this body active,” Harris said.

There are currently three active spaceport companies in Midland – AST SpaceMobile, Firehawk Aerospace and Kepler. Harris said Firehawk, who is testing rocket engines just outside Midland city limits, would benefit from the reestablishment of the spaceport development corporation and expanded infrastructure.

Midland County appointed three representatives to serve on the board of the spaceport development corporation, they chose County Judge Terry Johnson, Precinct 3 Commissioner Luis Sanchez and Precinct 4 commissioner Dianne Anderson’s husband, Ed Anderson. The city will elect four board members upon their approval of the corporation and interlocal agreement.

Ben Shaffer Reporter-Telegram


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