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Companies detail spaceport altitude chamber

The design of Orbital Outfitters’ altitude chamber complex, one of the key components of Midland International Airport’s spaceport, was unveiled in-depth Wednesday during a Midland Development Corp. meeting.

The complex features three chambers -- a vacuum system, an observation room and safety support systems -- according to a presentation made by co-developers Holder Aerospace and Orbital Outfitters. Two of the chambers will be used to test the space suits that Orbital Outfitters are custom-building for XCOR Aerospace’s Lynx space vehicle.

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Texas oil production sets new record

By the end of the year the State of Texas should pass oil production of both Iran and Iraq. Talk about turn of events no one expected ten years ago.

Drilling in the United States hit a new record this week. 1,562 active rigs are working fields in the U.S. That’s the highest number since Baker Hughes began counting oil rigs by themselves in 1987.

America, is now expected to pass Saudi Arabia next year and become the largest oil producer in the world.

Who Will Have The First Commercial Spaceport in Texas?

MIDLAND, TX (Local Big 2 News) -- It could be an international first here in West Texas. The Midland International Airport looks to become the first commercial international spaceport, but now it could be in jeopardy. That unprecedented takeoff could make an early departure, as SpaceX announces plans to build a launch site elsewhere in the state, much like XCOR here in Midland.

When you think of the Tall City, a few things come to mind. Oil, big rigs and spaceport?

Three Teams To Develop Spaceplane Concepts for DARPA

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded contracts to three companies to develop concepts for an experimental spaceplane capable of flying 10 times in 10 days, according to a July 15 DARPA press release.

The companies selected to develop the XS-1 spaceplane concepts are: Boeing, working with Blue Origin; Masten Space Systems working with XCOR Aerospace; and Northrop Grumman with Virgin Galactic. 

Each team received a contract worth approximately $4 million, sources said.

Texas' oil industry approaches records

All signs pointed to a slowdown in the state's oil and gas industry last year, but Texas production instead intensified to near-record levels, spurred by higher-than-expected oil prices driven by overseas turmoil, a new industry report shows.

Statewide crude oil production is now poised to surpass its 1972 all-time high within two years, said Karr Ingham, an economist for the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers.

Texas Jobless Rate for June Steady at 5.1 Percent

Last month's seasonally adjusted figure matched the May jobless rate for Texas, halting three months of declines in statewide unemployment rates. The nationwide jobless rate for June was 6.1 percent.

"Our economy continues to offer diverse opportunities to job seekers," said Commissioner Ronny Congleton, representing labor. "From teachers and health care workers to truck drivers and accountants — Texas is hiring."

Leading Locations for 2014: U.S. Metros Ranked for Economic and Job Growth

Area Development analyzes economic and workforce data for 379 MSAs, producing a snapshot of the cities across America that are poised to capitalize on the new potential for economic growth as the United States leaves the recession behind. A diversified economic base tops the most desirable traits.

XCOR Aerospace Hangar Sign

 Midland, TX (Big 2 News) - An XCOR Aerospace sign is now mounted on a hangar in Midland International Airport, a sign of things to come.

"We're gonna have a lot of our employees here 10, 12 hours a day. It's a 60,000 square foot space and there's a lot of room in there," said Brad Hartman, commercial division manager and master electrician for Electrical Maintenance & Construction.

Brad Hartman, from electrical maintenance and construction put in a bid with the general contractor, Western LLC, to do the work for XCOR.

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