SpaceX CEO Elon Musk made a major announcement on Twitter over the weekend.
In response to one of his Twitter followers, Musk announced that his company will be breaking ground soon on a second Raptor factory in McGregor.
Musk tweeted that the factory will focus on volume production of Raptor 2. He further explained that the plan is to produce two to four engines a day, which he calls high volume for big rocket engines.
According to Musk’s tweets, that will equal 800 to 1000 per year. He believes that is what’s needed over the next decade to create the fleet to build a self-sustaining city on Mars.
Musk says it could take another twenty years to build a city on Mars, which he hopes will happen by 2050.
The new facility will be located in McGregor close to the existing facility.
The City of McGregor said in a statement:
The City of McGregor is always in close contact with SpaceX, and the site is critical to SpaceX operations which include flying supplies to the International Space Station and launching US astronauts from American soil and safely returning them home. We are proud of the role McGregor plays in the advancement of human spaceflight.
One neighbor told Fox 44 it’s too much for their small town.
“It’s a little nerve wrecking, my house seven miles out already vibrates the windows when it has a big blast off,” Resident JoLynn Brown said. “It’s calmed down a little bit, but I’m just now sure about it.”
The City of McGregor addressed this concern in the following statement:
A new vertical test stand for SpaceX’s next generation Raptor engine is already under construction and it will include a below-ground water injection diverter which we hope will be effective at reducing the sound in surrounding areas. The construction methodology is proven by two previous stands which moved to this architecture, after being elevated above ground, with reduced noise as a result. Construction will be completed this year.
Brown says the noise is not her only concern, her safety is too.
“What if it explodes up over us, and comes down on our town that does worry me,” Brown said.
Musk says of operating at Starbase, in South Texas, left the company with no choice but to put engine production in McGregor.
SpaceX started operating in McGregor in 2003, they have over 500 employees working diligently.
Congressman Pete Sessions said in a statement, “It is great to see the fruition of our entrepreneurial spirit come about with SpaceX’s decision to locate a rocket factory in McLennan County.”
According to Musk he plans to break ground soon with the factory, describing it as the highest output, and most advanced rocket engine factory in the world.