Starbase Boca Chica

Starbase Boca Chica TX (SpaceX)

1. Massey's Structural Test Site

  • Aft Section Structural Test Cage
  • Burst Pad (pressure test to failure)
  • Can Crusher Test Stand
  • Cryogenic Test Stand Booster (cryo condition)
  • Cryogenic Test Stand Ship (cryo condition)
  • Elliptical Dome (EDO)
  • Hot Staging Test Article
  • Nose Cone Test Case
  • Raptor Test Stand
  • Payload Bay Testarticle (24.2)
  • Ring Water Article
  • Starship Test Stand
  • Vertical Steel Beam

2. Production Site (Sanchez / Build site)

  • Clamp Arms (10 and 20 clamps)
  • Engine Installation Stand
  • Ground Fabrication Building
  • High Bay
  • Launch Control Center
  • Natural Gas Well Site
  • Rocket Garden
  • Starfactory
  • Tracking Station (old)
  • Water Storage Tanks
  • Wide Bay 1 (Mega Bay 1)
  • Wide Bay 2 (Mega Bay 2)

3. Launch and Landing Facility

3.1 Suborbital
  • CO2 Tank (for Composite Overwrapped Pressure Vessels (COPVS)
  • Feed Lines
  • Ground Storage Equipment (GSE)
  • Starship Suborbital Pad A (stand, no tower)
  • Starship Suborbital Pad B (stand, no tower)
  • Two-Point Lifting Rig (crane)
  • Tanks Lox, LN2
  • Subcoolers
  • Water Deluge Tank Farm (3 tanks)
3.2 Orbital
  • Starship-Superheavy Orbital Launch Pad A (OLM A, Orbital Launch Mount
  • Orbital Integration and Launch Tower


B: Super heavy booster number [new designation]
BN: Super heavy booster serial number (first stage of the rocket)
CH4: (Liquid) methane
COPV: Composite overwrapped pressure vessel (black helium tank for tank pressurisation)
GSE: Ground support equipment, including ground tanks
HPU: Hydraulic pressure unit (on booster)
IT: Integration tower (for catching boosters and stacking starship)
LN2: Liquid nitrogen
LOX: Liquid oxygen
LR: Liebherr crane
MSIB: Marine safety information bulletin
NET: No earlier than [+date] (but very likely later)
OLM: Orbital launch mount
OLS: Orbital launch site (the east part of the launch site)
PB: Power bay or comms building (at the far east of the OLS)
PPS: Propellant production site (prop prod site)
QD: Quick disconnect (arm)
RB: Raptor boost
RC: Road closure (prim and sec – primary and secondary)
RC: Raptor Center (same as raptor boost, but with gimballing capability)
RSN: Raptor engine serial number
RVac: Raptor vacuum engine
S: Ship (upper stage) [new designation]
SF: Static fire
SN: Starship serial number (upper stage of the rocket)
SoLS: Suborbital launch site
SPMT: Self propelled modular transporter
TFR: Temporary flight restriction (for flight tests, issued by FAA)
TPS: Thermal protection system heat shield tiles (hexagonal black tiles)
TVC: Thrust vector controll, by engine gimbal; hydraulic or electric


In 2019, the FAA completed a reevaluation of the SpaceX facilities in South Texas, and in particular the revised plans away from a commercial spaceport to more of a spaceship yard for building and testing rockets at the facility, as well as flying different rockets—SpaceX Starship and prototype test vehicles—from the site than the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy envisioned in the original 2014 environmental assessment. In May and August 2019, the FAA issued a written report with a decision that a new supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) would not be required. In May 2021, the FAA issued a written FAQ regarding the FAA’s Environmental Review of SpaceX Starship/Super Heavy Operations at the Boca Chica Launch Site.

In 2022, Starship had been delayed extensively from an orbital flight due to a delay in an FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) license to allow findings on environmental impact. On 13 June 2022, the FAA announced that Starbase was not creating a significant impact to the environment, yet listed more than 75 actions to be taken before review of an orbital launch license. Some of these actions include $5,000 contributions to wildlife non-profits in the area, making sure roadways stay open on certain days of the year, and actions to protect local sea turtle populations.

In SpaceX terms, the ground infrastructure is called “Stage 0”.