Hearing on SpaceX’s Proposed Texas Launch Site Draws 500 People

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.

The Brownsville Herald reports that more than 500 people attended a public hearing last night to hear the results of the FAA’s preliminary environmental impact statement on SpaceX’s proposed launch facility:

Of those gathered at the International Technology, Education and Commerce Center Tuesday night, dozens shared their views on the project, which showed a general consensus of cautious optimism that the project — which aims to construct a vertical rocket launch site at the eastern end of State Highway 4 — will bring jobs while making a minimal impact on the environment.

The preliminary FAA study, which was released April 15, shows that while the construction of a launch site would affect wildlife along the shore, those effects could be minimized through certain actions if the federal agency were to grant SpaceX a permit to construct a launch site….

SpaceX has said in reports that its launch site would create 1,000 jobs indirectly or directly, all paying in excess of $55,000…

Chuy Abete, a longtime Brownsville resident, was the first to speak against the project at the hearing after nearly two dozen spoke in favor of it.

Abete expressed his concern about the impact the project would have on wildlife, noting that the very structure the hearing was held in had affected the wildlife population — birds, reptiles and more — in the area when it was built decades ago.

Read the full story.

  • cosmic

    Ok here is the scoop if you are really interested in these sorts of things. I have located not one but several possible booster landing locations in the northern and southern Bahamas, for high inclination LEO boosters launched from Canaveral, KSC and Shiloh to the Grand Cay district in the northern Bahamas, and long range cross feeding presumably cross feeding methane boosters launched equatorially anywhere from Boca Chica airbase (ironic name, that) in the Florida Keys to Cay Sal on the Cay Sal Bank in the Bahamas, to easily accessible locations right in my back yard in the Exuma Cays and the Ragged Island chain. This of course requires some ITAR revision and a complete rethink of overflight regulations, but a 92.5 degree azimuth from Boca Chica will take you a long way with minimal actual international land overflight. This has the potential of solving the beach closing problem because in this scenario most of the Boca Chica flights would be big honking GEO, moon and Mars missions flown only sporadically, and you would probably want to close the beach just from noise considerations alone.

    I will probably blog this later today, so this is just a trial balloon on this concept, but I am well respected in my village in the Bahamas, and know just about everybody in the country, or at least I am known to them. Anybody want to comment on this?

  • cosmic

    Sorry for the bad grammar in the rant, but I meant launching from Boca Chica, Texas and then the nearest landing opportunity is Boca Chica, Florida. I’m not sure if Boca Chica, Florida wants to get into the launch business, but that would work for me too. Probably they won’t want to get into the landing business either but who knows. The point is Cay Sal is sitting there, and the the next stop is Andros, Exuma or Ragged Island, something I know a little bit about. I would prefer these thing land horizontally but I also reason that empty lightweight fuel tanks will be easy to land in the future.

  • Sounds positive if the majority in the community support it (there will always be a few who oppose anything). On the beach closures it would be good to know how often it is intended. Is it just for launch, or static fire as well, whenever rocket is fuelled, or whenever it is on the pad?