SpaceX To Launch In South Texas And You May Be Able To Watch | Texas Public Radio

SpaceX To Launch In South Texas And You May Be Able To Watch

Mar 21, 2019

SpaceX could test its starship this week, and when it does you can watch live thanks to a surf school on South Padre Island, which is across South Bay from the company’s Boca Chica facility.

South Padre Surf Company, a surfing school at the southern tip of the island, has taken on the responsibility of documenting the first tests of SpaceX’s Starship prototype.

“It’s pretty obvious,” said Gene Gore, owner and operator of South Padre Surf Company. “We’ve got a rocket parked next door.”

By mounting cameras and hosting the stream on its website, Spadre.com, operators hope to capture the interest of the country. Pushing tourism for South Padre is also a big component he said. The live stream launched in late January.

SEE BOCA CHICA BEACH SPACEX FACILITY (directed at launch facility only during launch window)

Formerly called the Big Falcon Rocket, Starship has been upright waiting to test for several weeks. According to tweets from CEO Elon Musk, the company shipped in its first Raptor engine this month from its McGregor, Texas, testing facility.

The county voted to close State Highway 4 to their Boca Chica launchpad last week and posted a public notice that it would be closed Wednesday and possibly Thursday or Friday for launch activity between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

“It hasn’t left the ground yet,” said Gore Thursday evening. He said he travels to the launch site almost every day when SH 4 is open to shoot videos and photos.

When it does finally test, and if it is a success, don’t expect to see much. It is tethered to the ground and these initial tests are static.

“Always many issues integrating engine & stage. First hops will lift off, but only barely,” said Musk on Twitter.

Suborbital tests come after these first ground tests, Musk said. That’s something that Gore is very excited about.

“That’s when things are gonna get really interesting,” he said.

Paul Flahive can be reached via email Paul@tpr.org or on Twitter @paulflahive.