Elon Musk’s SpaceX Set to Lease 18-Acre Site on Terminal Island to Build His Big Falcon Rocket

Rendering courtesy of SpaceX.

Whether you’re in SoCal or Silicon Valley, there is a generic weariness with which the majority of humans approach the very small number of humans that have vast amounts of wealth attached to tech.

Elon Musk is one of those dividing figures—one who is not new to Los Angeles, like when he stirred up the ire of transit advocates with his ego-driven, uninspiring tunnel-freeway-beneath-actual-freeways or when he sold $10M worth of flamethrowers during California’s drought crisis—but, despite which side of the Musk aisle you sit on, it turns out that his presence in the region will continue.

The Port of Los Angeles (POLA), which shares Terminal Island with the Port of Long Beach (POLB), has laid out a 10-year lease (with up to two 10-year renewals) to WW Marine Composites, LLC, a subsidiary company of Musk’s SpaceX. It will be housed, should the dealgo forward, at Berth 240 to “manufacture large commercial transportation vessels.”

What kind of vessels, you ask? His Big Falcon Rocket (BFR).

(That’s a tongue-in-cheek but witless homophonic nod to “big fuckin’ rocket,” which many initially speculated it was named when he unveiled the rocket’s moniker as just BFR. Nothing more. Later, he thought he had channeled his inner Carlin by saying, “JK—it’s ‘Big Falcon Rocket’.” Get it? Get it? There’s a really fuckin’ heavy piece of equipment he’s created as well and—you guessed it!—he named it Falcon Heavy because the world loves billionaires who can nudge ribs with us plebeians.)

According to the document, operations on Terminal Island will revolved around the “research and development of transportation vessels and would likely include general manufacturing procedures such as welding, composite curing, cleaning, painting, and assembly operations.”

But why Terminal Island? The vessels are too large to transport by land and need easy water access.

Musk’s ambitions with SpaceX have been nothing short of bold: in 2016, he told the International Aeronautical Federation that he wanted to create a Mars base camp and, at the same conference last year, was genuinely miffed that by 2017, we haven’t achieved this scientific and exploratory advancement (and he claims that he will send people there this year). He has continued to chant this over and over.

And, after getting trumped by Lockheed Martin at that very conference in which they presented goals of creating a Mars base camp—something that really isn’t as far as we think, though the political and scientific barriers are still very much there—Musk moved to the moon.

SpaceX has yet to return comment for this story.

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food to politics to urban transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 12 nominations and an additional win for Best Political Commentary. Born in Big Bear, he has lived in Long Beach since college. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.
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