"[4] The launch site was originally intended to support launches of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles as well as "a variety of reusable suborbital launch vehicles",[4] but in 2018, SpaceX announced a change of plans, stating that the launch site would be used exclusively for SpaceX's next-generation launch vehicle, Starship. SpaceX announced in August 2014, that they had selected the location near Brownsville as the location for the new non-governmental launch site,[8] after the final environmental assessment completed and environmental agreements were in place by July 2014. [6] [8] Site soil work began in 2015 but major construction of facilities began only in late 2018, with rocket engine testing with flight testing beginning in 2019. "[38][39], In February 2014, they purchased 28 additional lots that surround the proposed complex at Boca Chica Beach, raising the SpaceX-owned land to approximately 36 acres (150,000 m2) in addition to the 56-acre (230,000 m2) lease. The Tuesday evening attempt was scrubbed with just 1.3 seconds left in the countdown due to an improper reading. [58], The new launch facility was projected in a 2014 study to generate US$85 million of economic activity in the city of Brownsville and eventually generate approximately US$51 million in annual salaries from some 500 jobs projected to be created by 2024. [5], By March 2019, two test articles of Starship were being built, and three by May. [39], SpaceX has also bought and is modifying several residential properties in Boca Chica Village, but apparently planning to leave them in residential use, about 2 miles (3.2 km) west of the launch site. [33][34], Prior to a final decision on the location of the spaceport, SpaceX began purchasing a number of real estate properties in Cameron County, Texas beginning in June 2012. Two 30 ft (9 m) S-band tracking station antennas , were installed at the site in 2016–2017,[50] Formerly used to track the Space Shuttle during launch and landing,[51][52] and made operational as tracking resources for crewed Dragon missions in 2018. All SpaceX rocket engines are tested on rocket test stands, and low-altitude VTVL flight testing of the Falcon 9 Grasshopper v1.0 test vehicle are done at McGregor. In statements provided to the Brownsville Herald, a Texan paper dedicated to a South Texas region that includes SpaceX’s Boca Chica launch site… "Mars, here we come!!" SpaceX aborted its launch of a Starship prototype in South Texas just one second before liftoff. The Starhopper prototype was relocated to the pad in March 2019, and first flew in late July 2019. [4] The launch site is planned to be optimized for commercial activity, as well as used to fly spacecraft on interplanetary trajectories. This prototype, an early version of the spacecraft that the company hopes will carry humans to the moon and Mars, was supposed to launch outside of Brownsville from Boca Chica. (South Texas appears to be in the lead as far as the offshore spaceports go; the SpaceX hiring notice specifies Brownsville as the job site.) [8], In September 2013, the State of Texas General Land Office (GLO) and Cameron County signed an agreement outlining how beach closures would be handled in order to support a future SpaceX launch schedule. For much of the time since, the leading candidate location for the new facility was a parcel of land adjacent to Boca Chica Beach near Brownsville, Texas. [55] SpaceX achieved this new target, with prototype rocket and rocket engine ground testing at Boca Chica starting in March 2019, and suborbital flight tests starting in July 2019. [50] In January 2018, COO Shotwell said the pad might be used for "early vehicle testing" by late 2018 or early 2019 but that additional work would be required after that to make it into a full launch site. [5] In 2019 and 2020, the site added significant rocket production and test capacity. In April 2012, the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation initiated a Notice of Intent to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement[24] and public hearings on the new launch site, which would be located in Cameron County, Texas. The summary then indicated that the Texas site would support up to 12 commercial launches per year, including two Falcon Heavy launches. [67] In May 2015, Cameron County transferred ownership of 25 lots in Boca Chica to CCSPDC, which may be used to develop event parking. [29] An additional few acres were purchased late in 2013, raising the SpaceX total "from 72 undeveloped lots to 80 lots totaling about 26 acres. The SpaceX South Texas launch site, also known as Boca Chica launch site, is a private rocket production facility, test site, and spaceport for SpaceX, located at Boca Chica approximately 32 km (20 mi) east of Brownsville, Texas, on the US Gulf Coast. [4]:87 By September 2012, SpaceX was considering a total of seven potential locations for the new commercial launch pad around the United States. Launch site selection and environmental assessment, Office of Commercial Space Transportation, Cameron County Space Port Development Corporation, SpaceX reusable launch system development program, "Texas, SpaceX announce spaceport deal near Brownsville", "Statement of Gwynne Shotwell, President & Chief Operating Officer, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX)", Draft Environmental Impact Statement: SpaceX Texas Launch Site, "SpaceX Breaks Ground on Texas Spaceport", "SpaceX chief: Commercial launch sites necessary step to Mars", "Elon Musk's Futuristic Spaceport Is Coming to Texas", "FAA Ruling Clears Path for SpaceX Launch site in Texas", "SpaceX breaks ground at Boca Chica beach", "Foundation Problems Delay SpaceX Launch", "Proposed Shiloh launch complex at KSC debated in Volusia", "Sanchez: Texas offering $6M, Florida giving $10M", "Camden County wants to open Georgia's first spaceport", "Brownsville leading SpaceX sweepstakes? Advance preparation work was expected to commence ahead of that. Located 40 miles from South Padre Island, SpaceX will provide an exclusive launch site. Engineering teams at the SpaceX South Texas Launch Facility in Boca Chica Beach are working to develop – Starship, a next-generation launch vehicle that could one day return humans to the moon and transport the first astronauts to Mars. The 3x offer was said to be "non-negotiable." When conceptualized, its stated purpose was "to provide SpaceX an exclusive launch site that would allow the company to accommodate its launch manifest and meet tight launch windows." SpaceX privately owns the launch and development site in Boca Chica. SpaceX South Texas Launch Site. "SpaceX launch pad transforms tiny Texas neighborhood: "Where the hell do I go now? [64], The launch site has been the main production and testing site of the Starship/Super Heavy system. By March 2020, there were over 500 people employed at the facility, with most of the work force involved in 24/7 production operations for the second-generation SpaceX launch vehicle, Starship. Generally, for orbital launches an ideal site would have an easterly water overflight path for safety and be located as far south as possible in order to take advantage of the Earth's rotational speed. [59], Although SpaceX initial plans for the Boca Chica launch site are to loft robotic spacecraft to geosynchronous orbits, Elon Musk indicated in September 2014 that "the first person to go to another planet could launch from [the Boca Chica launch site]",[60] but did not indicate which launch vehicle might be used for those launches. [28] By July 2014, SpaceX had purchased approximately 41 acres (170,000 m2) and leased 57 acres (230,000 m2) near Boca Chica Village and Boca Chica Beach[35] through a company named Dogleg Park LLC, a reference to the "dogleg" type of trajectory that rockets launched from Boca Chica will be required to follow. The SN1 under construction Sept 2019 at the SpaceX's South Texas facility. © 2019 City of South Padre Island Convention & Visitors Bureau | Privacy Policy. SpaceX broke ground on the new launch site in September 2014,[12] but indicated then that the principal work to build the facility was not expected to ramp up until late 2015[6] after the SpaceX launch site development team completed work on Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39A, as the same team was expected to manage the work to build the Boca Chica facility. By early 2013, Texas remained the leading candidate for the location of the new SpaceX commercial launch facility, although Florida, Georgia and other locations also remained in the running. SpaceX’s Boca Chica launch site, near South Padre Island and Port Isabel as well as Brownsville, currently employs around 3,000 people, according to … [20] The main Puerto Rico site under consideration at the time was land that had formerly been the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station. Support for SpaceX, however, remained fairly strong amongst Texas public officials. [9][10][11] When the maiden launch of the Starship takes place, it will become SpaceX's fourth active launch facility, following three launch locations that are leased from the US government. People from all over the world are gearing up for the SpaceX … [56], In late 2018, the "Mars Crossing" subdivision developed into a shipyard, with the development of several large hangars, and several concrete jigs, on top of which large steel rocket airframes were fabricated, the first of which became the Starhopper test article. [38] SpaceX's investments in Cameron County continued in March 2014, with the purchase of more tracts of land, bringing the total number of lots it now owns to 90. This channel was generated automatically by YouTube's video discovery system. In May and August 2019, the FAA issued a written report with a decision that a new supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) would not be required. Also during this period, SpaceX began acquiring land in the area, purchasing approximately 41 acres (170,000 m2) and leasing 57 acres (230,000 m2) by July 2014. CONGRATS STARSHIP TEAM!" As early as April 2012, at least five potential locations were publicly known, including "sites in Alaska, California, Florida,[17] Texas and Virginia. ", "FAA Notice of Intent to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement", "Brownsville area candidate for spaceport", "Texas reaches out to land spaceport deal with SpaceX", "SpaceX buys more land in Cameron County", "FAA approves SpaceX application to launch rockets from Cameron County beach", "New documents reveal SpaceX's plans for launching Mars-rocket prototypes from South Texas", "WRITTEN RE-EVALUATION OF THE 2014 FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT FOR THE SPACEX TEXAS LAUNCH SITE", "ADDENDUM TO THE 2019 WRITTEN RE-EVALUATION FOR SPACEX'S REUSABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE EXPERIMENTAL TEST PROGRAM AT THE SPACEX LAUNCH SITE", "Cameron County closes two streets for SpaceX", "The New Residents: Renovation planned for house linked to SpaceX". The private spaceflight company owns a launch site in South Texas, near the village of Boca Chica, where Starship prototypes are currently being built and tested. The STARGATE tracking facility is a joint project of the BEDC, SpaceX, and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (formerly the University of Texas at Brownsville at the time the agreement was reached). SpaceX conducted a groundbreaking ceremony on the new launch facility in September 2014,[12][6] and soil preparation began in October 2015. The SpaceX South Texas launch site, also known as Boca Chica launch site, is a private rocket production facility, test site, and spaceport for SpaceX, located at Boca Chica approximately 32 km east of Brownsville, Texas, on the US Gulf Coast. The Federal Aviation Administration retracted a previous authorization allowing the test flight from the company’s South Texas Launch site at Boca Chica Beach, east of Brownsville. Just better. December 1, 2020 A view of Starship SN8 at the SpaceX South Texas Launch Site as the SN8 and SpaceX crew plan a 15-kilometer altitude (9.3 miles) test flight and landing Wednesday, Dec. 2, … Meetings   Submit RFP   Newsroom   Newsletter. Four shifts are working 24/7—in 12-hour shifts with 4 days on then 3 off followed by 3 days on and 4 off—to enable continuous Starship manufacturing with workers and equipment specialized to each task of serial Starship production. This 4K live view from South Padre Island, in southern Texas, is towards the SpaceX Starship construction and testing site at Boca Chica Launch Pad. [42], Major site construction at SpaceX's launch site in Boca Chica got underway in 2016, with site soil preparation for the launch pad in a process said to take two years, with significant additional soil work and significant construction beginning in late 2018. In addition, SpaceX had leased 56.6 acres (22.9 ha) of land adjacent to the terminus of Texas State Highway 4, 20 acres (8.1 ha) of which would be used to develop the vertical launch area; the remainder would remain open space surrounding the launch facility. It was SpaceX’s second attempt this week at a … Public hearings on the draft EIS occurred in Brownsville, followed by a public comment period ending in June 2013. All Starship vehicles have been constructed here besides the Mk2 prototype, which was built in Florida but never completed, and eventually scrapped. [14][46][47] In February 2016, SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell stated that construction had been delayed by poor soil stability at the site, and that "two years of dirt work" would be required before SpaceX could build the launch facility, with construction costs expected to be higher than previously estimated. [48] The first phase of the soil stabilization process was completed by May 2016.[49]. The launch site is in Cameron County, Texas,[21] approximately 17 miles (27 km) east of Brownsville, with launch flyover range over the Gulf of Mexico. 20170102 satellite tracking antenna 02JAN2017.png 3,024 × 4,032; 8.78 MB. Its purpose is "to provide SpaceX an exclusive launch site that would allow the company to accommodate its launch manifest and meet tight launch windows." The SpaceX South Texas Launch Site is a spaceport and test site being built at Boca Chica Village near Brownsville, Texas (approximately 40 miles from South Padre Island) for the private use of Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX). The SpaceX Starship lifts off from a launching pad in South Texas. This webcam location is at the best area to watch rocket launches, which will begin by Spring 2019! [23], From the beginning, one of the proposed locations for the new commercial-mission-only[4] spaceport had been south Texas. "Elon Musk's upcoming Starship presentation to mark 12 months of rapid progress", "SpaceX working to stabilize land at rocket launch site", "SpaceX may turn to other launch pads when rocket flights resume", "SpaceX seeks to accelerate Falcon 9 production and launch rates this year", "SpaceX construction causing problems for surrounding residents", "Progress slow at SpaceX's planned spaceport", "SpaceX moving two giant antennas to Boca Chica", "NASA Closes Historic Antenna Station That Tracked Every Space Shuttle Launch", "SpaceX launch facility goes green, will have solar panel field", "Starhopper successfully conducts debut Boca Chica Hop", "SpaceX job posts confirm Starship's Super Heavy booster will be built in Texas", "Inside Elon Musk's plan to build one Starship a week—and settle Mars", "SpaceX Plans To Send People From Brownsville To Mars in Order To Save Mankind", "SpaceX considering SSTO Starship launches from Pad 39A", "Starhopper conducts Raptor Static Fire tests", "SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 2 : Photos and Updates", "https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1285924792273711106", "Texas border town to become next Cape Canaveral", "SpaceX Squares Off Against Homeowners Near Texas Launch Facility", "To reach Mars, SpaceX is trying to buy up a tiny Texas community", "City moves forward with viewing facility", SpaceX gets preliminary FAA nod for South Texas launch site, Lone Star State Bets Heavily on a Space Economy, Commercial Orbital Transportation Services, SpaceX Mars transportation infrastructure, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=SpaceX_South_Texas_launch_site&oldid=993941700, Pages with non-numeric formatnum arguments, Articles with dead external links from November 2017, Articles with permanently dead external links, All Wikipedia articles written in American English, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2014, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2019, Wikipedia articles in need of updating from December 2019, All Wikipedia articles in need of updating, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from December 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Chantilly, Houston, Seattle, Washington DC, This page was last edited on 13 December 2020, at 08:30. Public records showed that the total land area that SpaceX then owned through Dogleg Park LLC was roughly 37 acres (150,000 m2). It is now preparing for another launch today on December 11, 2020. [7], Launches on orbital trajectories from Brownsville will have a constrained flight path, due to the Caribbean Islands as well as the large number of oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. The South Texas Launch Site is SpaceX's fourth active suborbital launch facility, and its first private facility. The Texas launch location was projected in the 2013 draft EIS to include a 20 acres (81,000 m2) vertical launch area and a 12.2 acres (49,000 m2) area for a launch control center and a launch pad directly adjacent to the eastern terminus of Texas State Highway 4. [66], A local economic development board was created for south Texas in 2014—the Cameron County Space Port Development Corporation (CCSPDC)—in order to facilitate the development of the aerospace industry in Cameron County near Brownsville. “Boca Chica Village is our latest launch site dedicated to Starship, our next generation launch vehicle. Plan Your Visit to the SpaceX Texas Launch Site in Boca Chica, TX. Five years later in 2019, following an FAA revaluation of the environmental impact[32] and the issuance of new FAA requirements that residents be asked to voluntarily stay outside their houses during particular tanking and engine ignition tests, SpaceX decided that a couple dozen of these homes were now too close to the launch facility over the long term and began seeking market acquisition of these properties. Why? Traveler’s to SpaceX South Texas Launch Site have a range of excellent options for lodging just 40 miles away on South Padre Island. In February 2019, SpaceX confirmed that the first orbit-capable Starship and Super Heavy test articles would be manufactured nearby, at the "SpaceX South Texas build site. By September 2019, the site had been "transformed into an operational launch site – outfitted with the ground support equipment needed to support test flights of the methane-fueled Starship vehicles. [13][46] In January 2016, following additional soil testing that revealed foundation problems, SpaceX indicated they were not planning to complete construction until 2017, and the first launch from Boca Chica was not expected until late 2018. The Starhopper prototype was also the platform for the first flight tests of the full-flow staged combustion methalox Raptor engine, where the hopper vehicle was flight tested with a single engine in July/August 2019,[63] but could be fitted with up to three engines to facilitate engine-out tolerance testing. [21][22] 2013 economic estimates showed SpaceX investing approximately US$100 million in the development and construction of the facility[22] A US$15 million incentive package was approved by the Texas Legislature in 2013. The FAA has issued a TFR this week, granting SpaceX the airspace around Boca Chica in South Texas to launch within specific windows between Friday and Sunday. SpaceX to build world's first commercial rocket launch site in South Texas - and lift off is due in 2016. The purpose of SpaceX is to provide an exclusive launch site that would allow the company to accommodate its launch manifest and meet tight launch windows. This is the site of the launch site itself while the launch control facility is planned two miles west in the Mars Crossing subdivision. SpaceX rocket launch from South Texas ends in massive fireball Elon Musk’s company livestreamed the launch Wednesday. The SpaceX South Texas launch site, also known as Boca Chica launch site, is a private rocket production facility, test site, and spaceport for SpaceX, located at Boca Chica approximately 32 km (20 mi) east of Brownsville, Texas, on the US Gulf Coast. [45] In the event, construction was delayed by the destruction of one of SpaceX two Florida launch facilities in a September 2016 rocket explosion, which tied up the launch site design/build team for over a year. "[43] Lighter construction of fencing and temporary buildings in the control center area had begun in 2014.[39][44]. Space X will not launch its Starship prototype, the SN8, Friday as planned. [40] By September 2014, Dogleg Park completed a replat of lots totaling 49.3 acres (200,000 m2) into a second subdivision, this one named "Launch Site Texas", made up of several parcels of property previously purchased. * denotes unflown vehicles or engines, and future missions or sites. 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