An artist rendering of BFRs outside a base on Mars. Courtesy SpaceX

California’s SpaceX will built its giant Mars rockets in a waterfront facility at the Port of Los Angeles.

The plans were confirmed earlier this week by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in his annual State of the City speech.

Then on Thursday, the city’s Board of Harbor Commissioners voted unanimously to lease 19 acres to SpaceX for a 10-year-period with options to renew. The location is on the main ship channel, across from the San Pedro neighborhood.

The new rocket, dubbed “BFR” for “Big Falcon Rocket,” would need to be shipped by barge to Cape Canaveral because of its size — 35 feet in diameter and 340 feet in length.

The rocket is designed to loft over 300,000 pounds of cargo to Mars. The first flight is anticipated in 2022.

“SpaceX has called the Port of Los Angeles home to our west coast recovery operations since 2012,” said SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell. “The Port will play an increasingly important role in our mission to help make humanity multi-planetary as SpaceX begins production development of BFR — our next generation rocket and spaceship system capable of carrying crew and cargo to the moon, Mars and beyond.”

SpaceX plans to construct a giant hanger with 80-foot ceilings and over 80,000 square feet of space on the leased site.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.