SpaceX webcams

SpaceX webcams

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.” 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”, but in early 2018, SpaceX announced a change of plans, stating that the launch site would be used exclusively for SpaceX’s next-generation launch vehicle, Starship. Between 2018 and 2020, the site added significant rocket production and test capacity.

Starbase
Starbase
SpaceX Starbase
SpaceX Starbase
Booster 7
Static fire of a single Raptor engine on the Super Heavey Booster 7

In 2012, SpaceX named the Boca Chica area as a possible location for the construction of their future private commercial launch site. In August 2014, SpaceX announced that they had selected the area as the location for their South Texas Launch Site, and that their “control center” would actually be on land within the Boca Chica Village, while the launch complex would be located two miles to the east. Limited construction began that year, but more extensive construction activities did not begin until approximately 2018. By May 2018, the site was expected to be used exclusively for launches of the SpaceX second-generation fully-reusable launch vehicle (which was eventually named SpaceX Starship in late 2018), and the launch complex was no longer planned to become a third launch site for Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy.

Flight testing of the Starship second stage, with the newly designed Raptor rocket engine, began in 2019 and continued into 2021. With the village only a few miles from the test site, in August 2019, Cameron County officials (following requirements set by the US regulatory authority, the FAA) began to request village residents to stand outside their homes during any tests that involve loading of propellant fuel, due to perceived danger from shock-wave induced broken windows in the event of a test anomaly and explosion. SpaceX is planning an initial orbital test flight of the entire two-stage Starship system in 2022, contingent on approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

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