Elon Musk’s SpaceX is finalizing an agreement to use an L.A. port facility to base rocket and spacecraft retrieval operations.
The Hawthorne, Calif.-based company presented its plan to the Los Angeles Harbor Commission’s board June 18, and a port spokesman said afterwards the plan was expected to be finalized soon. (View video of SpaceX presentation)
Under the plan, SpaceX would team with AltaSea, which has a 50-year-lease to operate a 35-acre port business center primarily devoted to marine research. SpaceX wants to move their vessels and a platform into port berths near San Pedro this summer.
“I always thought there was a connection between the port and aerospace, and this is just the beginning of building the bridge between the two,” Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner Anthony Pirozzi Jr. said after the public board presentation.
AltaSea already has begun signing tenants for some of its space, though its own construction on the campus is set to run into 2017.
The plan is designed to allow SpaceX to land a reusable Falcon 9 rocket on the site’s landing pad. To date, it hasn’t been able to stage landing operations in the Pacific region.