Elon Musk said SpaceX would begin construction on a rocket engine facility in Waco after the Cargo Dragon capsule landed in the Gulf of Mexico. He shared the idea in a series of social media posts.

Musk said on Twitter that the facility, located near McGregor, will be the aerospace company's second rocket engine manufacturing plant and will create Raptor 2 engines.

Raptor engines are a type of full-flow stage combustion cycle rocket engine developed by SpaceX for use in its Starship launch vehicles. SpaceX's California plant, according to Musk, will focus on the company's newest Raptor Vacuum engines. It's a variation intended for vacuum conditions, as well as new and experimental designs.

 SpaceX Dragon Heads Back to Earth Carrying 3,000 Pounds of Cargo After Stormy Delay
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
The SpaceX Crew Dragon maneuvers to another port on the International Space Station to prepare for a complex series of upcoming Crew Dragon and Cargo Dragon missions. Four astronauts were aboard the Crew Dragon during the automated relocation maneuver, including NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi. In the foreground are the JAXA Kibo laboratory module and the Japanese robotic arm.

SpaceX to Build 800 to 1,000 Rockets a Year

According to Musk, the new McGregor plant would build 800 to 1,000 rocket engines per year or two to four engines per day. He said on his Twitter account that the quantity is "ultra high volume" by huge rocket engine standards, making it the world's highest production and most advanced rocket engine factory.

SpaceX already has a large presence in Texas, including a testing facility at McGregor that is utilized for research and development of new rocket engines and thrusters and final engine and component testing.

Because of "challenges" at the South Texas site, Musk stated the new engine production factory would be in McGregor. He didn't go into much depth.

The billionaire also stated on Saturday that he plans to utilize the new engine manufacturing site in Waco to help fund his 2050 ambition to build a city on Mars. The engines will be used in a fleet of rockets that will be launched over a 10-year span to build the city, which Musk estimates will take around 20 years to complete.

"[The] city itself probably takes roughly 20 years, so hopefully it is built by 7/8 2050," Musk wrote.

SpaceX Dragon Capsule Lands In Gulf of Mexico

SpaceX Dragon Capsule splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico around 11:32 p.m. local time, SpaceX announced.

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon Capsule will return to Earth during re-entry, with a splashdown near Florida's capital city, NASA confirmed Thursday.

"On Friday, July 9, Dragon will conduct a deorbit burn to begin its re-entry sequence into Earth's atmosphere," said NASA in the blog. "Dragon is expected to splash down at approximately 11:29 p.m. in the Gulf of Mexico near Tallahassee, Florida."

Splashing down off the coast of Florida allows the science aboard the capsule to be quickly transported to the agency's Kennedy Space Center's Space Station Processing Facility, allowing some science to be returned to the researchers as soon as four to nine hours following splashdown.

Dragon was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center on June 3 and arrived at the station in just over 16 hours.

More than 7,300 pounds of scientific projects, crew supplies, and vehicle components were carried to the orbiting station by the mission.

Two of the six new ISS Roll-Out Solar Arrays (iROSAs) delivered by Dragon's external cargo "trunk" were installed by Expedition 65 crew members Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet, an ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut, during three spacewalks on June 16, 20, and 25.

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