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SpaceX's Brownsville, Texas spaceport

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Posted

Their plans are taking shape. The US Fish & Wildlife Service report came back positive, so all that remains is the FAA's Environmental Impact Statement which is due next month.

24 months to complete construction from GO.

http://m.valleymorningstar.com/news/local_news/article_fc9ae4f4-c2b4-11e3-bf6a-001a4bcf6878.html?mode=jqm

Fed, state officials embrace SpaceX progress

State and federal officials say they welcome recent developments that have advanced SpaceXs proposal to build the worlds first private, commercial vertical launch site and control center in Cameron County.

The state stands ready to continue to support local officials in recruiting the SpaceX project to South Texas, Gov. Rick Perrys spokeswoman, Lucy Nashed, told the Valley Morning Star.

The governor is a strong supporter of bringing commercial space travel to Texas, she said.

We continue to wait for the Federal Aviation Administrations final environmental impact study, she said.

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Consultations on the proposal involving U.S. Fish and Wildlife, SpaceX and the FAA began Oct. 10, 2012.

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Construction plans also are included in the consultations, and reveal a 24-month timeframe for building both the launch site and the control center facilities a few miles inland. Most construction would occur from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and night construction would occur for about four weeks combined in order to pour concrete and place pilings.

The planned launch area occupies 20 of the 56.5 acres leased by SpaceX. The acreage that SpaceX additionally owns would remain undeveloped.

Facilities within the launch area include about 43,200 square feet of hangar space, launch pad, launch stand with flame duct, 250-foot-tall water tower, water retention basin, storage and handling areas, a workshop of about 10,800 square feet and 40 feet tall, a 3,200-square-foot office, a warehouse, roads, parking area, fencing, security gates and utilities.

Parking for the launch and control areas would accommodate up to 250 personnel. The area also would include exterior lighting, security fences and gates.

Potable water would either be delivered by truck to a holding tank at the vertical launch area, or pumped from a well on the property. The septic system would consist of a mobile above-ground processing unit and holding tank. Power and data lines also would be installed.

Two six-foot-tall perimeter chain-link fences would be erected around the vertical launch area and would enclose about 20 acres, with an inner access road between the fences to support security.

The plans show that the proposed control center area, two miles west of the vertical launch area, would include two launch control center buildings, payload processing facilities, a hanger, roads, parking areas, fencing and utilities.

Control center buildings are planned to be single story, about 14,186 square feet, and 30 to 45 feet in height.

Payload processing facilities will be about 14,669 square feet, and 65 to 85 feet tall.

The launch vehicle hangar will be 30,774 square feet, and 50 to 65 feet tall.

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It should be similar to their Vandenberg SLC-4E site

Flame trench

VPAD4.jpg

View from pad side (launch T/E is >210 fee tall) (big pic)

vandenberg.jpg

Reverse angle

Vandy2.jpg

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Posted

I wonder how long it will take for SpaceX to make the announcement after the FAA EIS comes in :) And when the ground breaking ceremony is!

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Posted

Announcement, probably no longer than it takes their lawyers to review it.

Break ground, pretty quick given what's happened at KSC. I'd bet the plans have been finished for months and the contractors are already lined up.

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Posted

The SpaceX Brownsville / Boca Chica spaceport FINAL Environmental Impact Statement has been released but the link isn't live yet. FAA web page below.

If positive SpaceX is likely to announce its new spaceports location soon, possibly during tomorrow's Dragon V2 unveiling (as if there's any doubt where they want to build it.)

http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/environmental/nepa_docs/review/documents_progress/spacex_texas_launch_site_environmental_impact_statement/

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_be70b9a0-e6c3-11e3-a3f8-001a4bcf6878.html

The Federal Aviation Administration has released the final environmental impact statement pertaining to SpaceX, which will help determine whether the company can build a rocket launch site in Cameron County.

The FAA this afternoon released the much anticipated report that local, county and state officials have been waiting for, for almost a couple of years, however it is not yet available for download.

Nearly two years since SpaceX announced that Texas is one of four sites under consideration for a commercial rocket launch pad, officials have courted the private commercial company, offering deals to lure it to set up shop on Boca Chica Beach. Texas reportedly has offered $15 million in incentives to lure SpaceX to South Texas.

The EIS draft released in April 2013 reviewed 11 resource areas for potential environmental impacts created by the proposed construction and operations there. The FAA looked at compatible land use; properties; noise; visual resources and light emissions; historical, architectural, archaeological and cultural resources; air quality; water resources; biological resources including fish, wildlife and plants; hazardous materials; socioeconomics; natural resources; and secondary impacts.

Although the FAA draft report found

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Posted

wow, nice to hear about Dragon 2.0, when is the press conference?

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Posted

Boca Chica FAA Environmental Impact Statement

V1

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Posted

..and smaller reusable suborbital launch vehicles.

Do they mean Grasshopper and Dragonfly Test vehicles? Surely those programmes will have wound down by that time. Or perhaps it means returning vehicles -first stages.

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Posted

Possibly returning first stages, which are suborbital. Maybe something else ;)

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Posted

I wonder when we can expect a ground breaking ceremony :)

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Posted

Shouldn't be too long. Up to how long the FAA takes to issue the license.

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Posted

The Brownsville / Boca Chica spaceport is now official.

Brownsville Herald....

Cameron County, we've got SpaceX.

After months of speculation that the rocket company would chose the county for the site of a rocket launch pad, SpaceX officials today announced it will build the pad near Boca Chica Beach.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk made the official announcement through a news release from Gov. Rick Perry's office.

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Posted

Sweet news!

 

I hope they make some nice photo collections on the construction! I mean, if you look at ITER website, that might be a bit overkill on photo's... but would be nice to have! Also, webcam and then produce once bad ass time lapse video of a launch site construction :)

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Posted

 

 

Cameron County Commissioners Court and SpaceX reached agreements Thursday for an incentive and development package, signaling that a groundbreaking ceremony is not far off.

 

 

 

Cascos said a date for the groundbreaking is not definite, but that it would probably be held within 30 to 45 days.

 

http://www.valleymorningstar.com/premium/article_7facb310-29a6-11e4-ae31-001a4bcf6878.html

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Posted

Yup, and this is going to be quite some project with from 100-170+ vehicles a day going in and out of that site. This is a huge project.

And while its going on the U. of Texas at Brownsville and their partners will very likely be building the STARGATE space tracking center almost next door. Yes, SpaceX and STARGATE will work together.

http://m.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_d8af741e-3841-11e2-9dd5-001a4bcf6878.html?mode=jqm

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Posted

Didn't I read somewhere that this STARGATE facility would become responsible for tracking the range @ Boca Chica? Can't remember.

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Posted

Seems to he the case, and the U. Texas at Brownsville people also use Arecibo.

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Posted

@AvWeekParis: Shotwell: Brownsville launch site groundbreaking Sept 21-22, will take 2 yrs to build in parallel w/Pad 39A; both to launch F9 and Heavy.

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Posted

This company is spending a lot of money without really making any yet.

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Posted

SpaceX has been cash positive for about 5 years.

Whenever a launch contract is signed there's cash up front, with $4-5 billion in launches contracted NOT counting 17 more announced today. There's also talk of a huge Google comm/data-sat constellation pending. Now add payload integration and launch services which is another $20-30m per flight.

They also have a $1.6 billion NASA contract for ISS cargo, with them being a near lock for Commercial Cargo Round 2 starting in 2016. Commercial Crew would add to that, perhaps another $2 billion. Also some NASA probes.

And this doesn't count military launches from LC-39A or Vandenberg, which are coming regardless of the lawsuit because the USAF needs them for budget reasons. Some are already manifested. Launch services for those will be about $80-100 million because of MilSpec requirements like vertical payload integration.

The integration and launch services are typically done by outfits like The Aerospace Corporation, but SpaceX does them in-house so they get the bux. They now occupy the Cape's SPIF facility, which formerly housed Titan IV and Shuttle payloads.

Capitalization is estimated at $8-10 billion.

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