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SpaceX expanding Boca Chica footprint with new facilities, plans for more test flights

SpaceX expanding Boca Chica footprint with new facilities, plans for more test flights
2 weeks 1 day 27 minutes ago Tuesday, May 14 2024 May 14, 2024 May 14, 2024 10:21 PM May 14, 2024 in News - Local

SpaceX hopes to have their next launch from their Boca Chica facility in a couple of weeks. 

According to Starbase General Manager Kathy Leuders, they want to speed up how often they're doing tests, and also how often they're building vehicles to bring costs down for every time they send a rocket into the air. 

That's going to mean some infrastructure changes, according to Leuders.

Leuders spoke as part of a Tuesday SpaceX presentation at the TSTC Cultural Arts Center to highlight the company’s progress.

According to Leuders, each of the last three launches has shown more and more progress towards their goal of creating a re-usable Starship.

Their goal is to lower the cost of each flight, and what it costs to send cargo to space.

“Stack them, test them, and then be able to launch,” Leuders said. “It's that launch cadence that's really going to allow us to be able to get the amount of material that you need to do long-term missions in space."

SpaceX is also expanding its footprint at Boca Chica. They have plans to build a new office, a second launch pad, a new high bay structure, and a massive Starship factory.

Leuders says it will be a million square feet by the end of 2024, and will accommodate for more cars, more employees and living space.

“That's a lot of building, along with us building homes and everything else,” Leauders said. “All of this is to get us ready to be able to start meeting the production launch rate that we need to be able to accomplish our missions."

Leuders says SpaceX is coordinating with the Port of Brownsville and the LNG company NextDecade to identify new infrastructure needs around Boca Chica. She added that the east side of Brownsville is in a good position to add restaurants and hotels.

The Starbase facility is hosting 3 thousand people a day.

With the goal of faster testing, Leuders says manned missions to the moon and to Mars will take a lot of cargo.

Lueders expects a new FAA launch approval will come down in late May or early June.

“And the first day we get that license, we're going to fly,” Leuders said. “I do know that one day, out of the Rio Grande Valley, there will be a starship going to Mars."

Watch the video above for the full story. 

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