Musk said he expects to make a final decision on the launch site before the year ends.
The private sector is filling important gaps and is being touted as being a cheaper and faster alternative to government space programs. The nascent commercial space industry in
Landing SpaceX, the most successful commercial space endeavor, would be a coup for
"To be a true space state, we have to be more aggressive to show these people they are welcome and we have the brainpower to support them," said state Rep.
'Rockets here? Really?'
The Boca Chica plan caught both supporters and opponents off-guard.
"Rockets here? Really?" said Salinas, who grew up going to
Two weeks after that first phone call, Salinas said, local officials met with Musk at his
Salinas says SpaceX officials first spotted Boca Chica from the air as they scoured 14 different
Salinas said a SpaceX employee discovered the maps were wrong. SpaceX took an option on 56.5 contiguous acres of dunes and wetlands that were privately owned. The launch site would be built on 20 of those acres. The launch pad would be 500 feet from the beach and the control center a couple of miles away. There would be a hangar, a warehouse and tanks for storing rocket propellant.
State and local officials have overwhelmingly endorsed locating SpaceX at Boca Chica. At a community hearing last year, a crowd of more than 500 echoed the officials' dreams of jobs and economic development.
Opponents, if they were there, didn't make it to the microphone.
The issue has environmentalists on both sides, but the opposition -- largely invisible at first -- seems to be growing or, at least, speaking out more as a decision nears.
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