Jeff Foust reports that it’s not a move — it’s an expansion:
“XCOR sees this as an expansion opportunity,” a source familiar with the deal said in a phone interview today, emphasizing that XCOR would be expanding to Midland, not moving there entirely from Mojave. “They plan on maintaining a presence in Mojave. This is all about growth.”
More details are expected at a press conference Monday at 3 pm EDT in Midland featuring XCOR and local officials. Some open questions about the planned deal include the timing of XCOR’s arrival in Midland and whether Midland International Airport plans to seek a launch site operator’s license (aka spaceport license) from the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, which would be needed if XCOR planned to conduct test of operational Lynx flights from the airport. (There’s also the issue of integrating a flight test program into the normal operations of a commercial airport like Midland’s; one of Mojave’s strengths is that it is well-suited to experimental aircraft and spacecraft tests.)
So it sounds like they’ll keep Lynx development in Mojave, and not disrupt it with a move.
But still, if California wasn’t the worst place to do business in the country, they’d be happy to grow there instead. But until that changes, all of their growth is likely to be into other states. And California will continue to circle the drain economically.