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The Antelope Valley in California, United States is located in northern Los Angeles County and the southeastern portion of Kern County, California and constitutes the western tip of the Mojave Desert. It is situated between the Tehachapi and the San Gabriel Mountains. The valley was named for the graceful animals that are said to have roamed there until being eliminated by hunters and bad weather in the 1880s. The principal cities in the Antelope Valley are Palmdale and Lancaster.
In recent decades the valley has become a bedroom community, to the Greater Los Angeles area. Major housing tract development and population growth took off beginning in 1983, which has increased the population of Palmdale around 12 times its former size as of 2006. Neighboring Lancaster has increased its population since the early 1980s to around 3 times its former level. Major retail has followed the population influx, centered around Palmdale's Antelope Valley Mall. The Antelope Valley is home to over 475,000, and is expected to reach 1,000,000 people by the year 2020.
Antelope Valley Industries
U. S. Air Force Plant 42 in northeast Palmdale is home to Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and BAE Systems, among other aerospace-related companies. Notable projects assembled and/or designed there include the space shuttle, B-2 Spirit bomber, F-117 Nighthawk fighter, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and the Lockheed L-1011 Tristar, a passenger jet aircraft.
The newly dedicated Mojave Spaceport is also located in this region. The spaceport is famous as the base of operations for Scaled Composites, the company that designed SpaceShipOne and won the X-Prize.
Much of the work done at these facilities is performed in coordination with Edwards Air Force Base and the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center (see above), from the creation and testing of proof-of-concept X-planes, to Space Shuttle operations, to the manufacturing and integration and testing of new military aviation equipment.
The valley's first main industry as a part of the United States was agriculture. Historically known regionally for its extensive alfalfa fields and fruit crops, farmers now are growing a wider variety of crops, such as carrots, onions, lettuce, and potatoes. As housing tracts continue to build in the middle of the valley, the farm operations are now found farther to the west and east sides than in previous decades.
The second largest Borax open pit mine in the world is located near Boron. Public touring is available.