Space technology and manufacturing company X-Bow Systems, pronounced as “crossbow,” announced Feb. 24 that it will be investing $25 million into the shut-down Carter Memorial Airport in Luling. X-Bow specializes in the manufacturing of rocket propellent and solid rocket motors to enable the commercial and military use of rockets.

“Luling is a huge step for X-Bow; it is expanding our company in a very significant way,” Head of Technology Programs Jillian Marsh told Community Impact. “Our primary technology that we've been advancing is additive manufacturing of solid propellent.”

The majority of that work is being done out of the New Mexico manufacturing facility, Marsh added.

“As we expand into Central Texas, we're going to be standing up multiple manufacturing facilities that will house this technology so what we can start printing solid rocket motors. [The move will take] our entire technology and [focus] it in a commercial application so that we can meet the needs of our customers better,” Marsh said. “We've finally hit that pinnacle of maturing the technology far enough that we're ready to start building out systems that are more geared towards production.”

The basis of the work at X-Bow with highly energetic materials such as propellant, made finding a suitable location for the facility a challenge.

The company began looking in 2021 and worked with the Texas Economic Development Corp. to determine which areas would be suitable for X-Bow.

“Luling was one of the cities that responded... identifying that they had areas that could meet our needs as well as looking for businesses to come in and bring new jobs,” Marsh added. “It became very appealing very quickly.”

There will be up to 15 buildings at the new facility, some of which are already underway, that will include rocket static fire pads, control rooms, offices and more. The facility is also expected to bring dozens of jobs to the area.

Many of the buildings are expected to be completed by the end of 2023, though it is already partially operational.

“Caldwell County is pleased to welcome X-Bow to Luling, and we’re looking forward to the innovation and job creation that an industrial technology leader will bring to our community,” Caldwell County Judge Hoppy Haden said in a press release. “Luling and Caldwell County worked hard to bring them here, and it’s deeply satisfying to see a company of this caliber open its doors.”