Ground broke on a commercial rocket launch site Monday near Boca Chica Beach in Texas, three miles north of the Mexican border.
Space Exploration Technologies, or Space-X, is developing the orbital space port, which will launch 12 satellites and government rockets a year starting in 2016 and eventually will send astronauts to the International Space Station.
Long-term, the company could create the technology needed to take astronauts to Mars and build a base there, said Space-X CEO Elon Musk at the groundbreaking ceremony,
The launch site will create 300 jobs, Musk said. Through a partnership with the University of Texas and with a $4.4 million infusion of cash from the state, Space-X will develop new technologies and expand the station, which Musk said will create a new, high-tech local economy as other companies locate there to support the launch site.