SpaceX Conducts Starship Static Fire, Plans 150-meter Hop

SpaceX conducted a successful static fire on its Starship vehicle at its south Texas test site on Thursday, paving the way for an 150-meter hop as early as Monday.

Cameron County has issued the following notice for the closing of Boca Chica Beach and Highway 4.

Primary DateAugust 2, 20208:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.Closure Scheduled
Backup DateAugust 3, 20208:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.Closure Scheduled
Backup DateAugust 4, 20208:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.Closure Scheduled

One Advantage of Having SpaceX as a Neighbor: Paved Roads

Location (in red) of SpaceX's proposed commercial spaceport. (Credit: Environment Texas)
Location (in red) of SpaceX’s proposed commercial spaceport. (Credit: Environment Texas)

Cameron County, Texas is making some much needed road improvements in and around Boca Chica Village, which lies close to where SpaceX is building its launch complex.

The county said it’s in anticipation of heavy traffic to come this fall, when construction is expected to begin for the SpaceX launch site.

Homeowners said the roadwork is long needed. CHANNEL 5 NEWS found out less than ten families live along these streets.

Dana Hollinger and her family moved to Boca Chica Village six years ago. They love the nature and privacy. They learned to deal with the remote downfalls. “If I had to call the village anything, it would be The Forgotten,” she said. “Almost all the roads out here were desperate need of repair.”

Six streets in the area were repaved, one was reconstructed. Cameron County Administrator David Garcia said they do have a priority list for all county roads. Boca Chica Village streets were placed on that list this year. But they moved to the top, when the roadwork on other projects was stalled.

SpaceX to Get $13 Million, 10-Year Tax Exemption for Texas Spaceport

Artist's conception of the proposed SpaceX commercial launch facility near Brownsville, Texas.
Artist’s conception of the proposed SpaceX commercial launch facility near Brownsville, Texas.

An update on the incentives package being worked out for SpaceX’s spaceport in Texas:

The Cameron County Commissioners’ Court agreed to waive 10 years of county taxes owed by SpaceX, or Space Exploration Technologies Corp., if the company brings its launch operations to South Texas.

Commissioners also approved a draft of an economic agreement with SpaceX that states the responsibilities of each entity involved, including the Cameron County Spaceport Development Corp.

The Spaceport Board of Directors met Thursday afternoon to discuss the agreement and authorize Board Chairman Nick Serafy Jr. to sign it on behalf of the board.

The Spaceport Board also agreed to accept $13 million from the state’s Spaceport Development Trust Fund.

Read the full story.


SpaceX Applies for Spaceport Building Permits, Acquires More Texas Land

Artist's conception of the proposed SpaceX commercial launch facility near Brownsville, Texas.
Artist’s conception of the proposed SpaceX commercial launch facility near Brownsville, Texas.

With a crucial environmental review by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) behind it, SpaceX has begun to apply for building permits for its planned Texas spaceport as it acquires more land to support it:

On Monday, SpaceX’s Dogleg Park LLC submitted an application for a permit to install small solar panels off-grid in the vicinity of the proposed launch control center at the potential launch site. The contractor is SolarCity. Elon Musk, founder of the California-based Space Exploration Technologies, is chairman of SolarCity.

And on Tuesday, Brownsville Economic Development Council Executive Vice-President Gilbert Salinas also submitted an application for a commercial permit in connection with the BEDC-SpaceX-University of Texas at Brownsville’s STARGATE project for construction of a 12,000 square foot tracking center.

Meanwhile, t5he company has been buying up additional land in the Boca Chica Beach area south of Brownsville where the spaceport will be constructed:

The purchase from private landowners was officially filed in the public record July 8, one day before the FAA issued its Record of Decision to support the issuance of launch licenses that would allow Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies to launch the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy orbital vertical rockets from the proposed private spaceport at Boca Chica Beach….

Public records reflect that the 50 acres that were purchased this month through SpaceX’s company Dogleg Park LLC would have been those under option or lease since at least June 2012.

The purchase brings SpaceX’s property holdings at Boca Chica Beach to approximately 100 acres of land.

Through Dogleg and The Flats at Mars Crossing LLC, the firm consistently has purchased and had leased properties at the Boca Chica site from early June 2012 through this month.

Cameron County Appoints Members to Spaceport Development Corporation

The Cameron County Commissioners Court has appointed seven directors to oversee the brand new Cameron County Spaceport Development Corporation, whose goal is to help establish a commercial launch facility on the Texas Gulf Coast for use by SpaceX and to attract other space companies to the area.

SpaceX is eying a location near Brownsville for its commercial launches. It has requested an environmental impact study be done on the site. The California-based company also has been considering locations in Florida, Puerto Rico,  Georgia and Hawaii.


SpaceX Buys More Land in Texas, Environmental Impact Statement Due in January

SpaceX has been purchasing additional tracts of land near where it would like to construct a commercial launch complex for its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets. In related news, the FAA expects to complete an environmental impact statement on the proposed location near Brownsville, Texas in January.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. purchased two more properties on Election Day Nov. 6 on the steps of the Cameron County Judicial Building on East Harrison Street, according to public records.


SpaceX Purchasing Land Near Brownsville

The Brownsville Herald reports that SpaceX has been purchasing land in Cameron County, Texas, near where it is considering building a private launch complex for its Falcon rockets:

However, local officials emphasized that this does not mean SpaceX has made the decision to settle here. “But it is a good sign,” Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos said.

Other than the property that SpaceX is said to have placed options on, the firm this year has purchased at least three lots in the Spanish Dagger Subdivision under the name Dogleg Park LLC, The Herald found in public documents.