SpaceX is just 40 miles from South Padre Island, within sight and sound of the actual launches. Our island, is the closest venue to the launch site. Kinpadre, our beachfront vacation rental is a perfect place for your family to enjoy the many DELIGHTS that the island offers. More about viewing SpaceX follows.
What is SpaceX.
SpaceX stand for Space Exploration Technologies Corporation. Its founder is Eon Musk. In addition to SpaceX, his inventions include PayPal and Tesla Motors (electric cars). As a kid, he taught himself how to program, and when he was 12 he sold his first software: a game he created. Musk became a multimillionaire in his late 20s when he sold his start-up company, Zip2.
SpaceX is a private company that would like to provide space transportation for people and goods to the moon, mars, and beyond, for private citizens as well as the government. As part of this they need testing and launch sites, such as the one in Boca Chica Village near Brownsville, Texas (approximately 40 miles from South Padre Island).
What is happening at the SpaceX site near South Padre Island?
According to a SpaceX spokesperson, “Every single SpaceX rocket and spacecraft is tested in Texas before flying to space and back again.” “South Texas will play an increasingly important role in our efforts.” SpaceX is building Starship at the site.
Starship is the fully reusable second stage and has an integrated payload section. Starship serves as a large, long-duration spacecraft capable of carrying passengers or cargo to Earth orbit, planetary destinations, and between destinations on Earth. Musk said he wanted to test this new vehicle, the Starship, at the company’s location in South Texas.
Where is the SpaceX site? Can I visit it? Are there tours?
They don’t have any tours as of now. At this writing, people are still permitted to drive to the very little town of Boca Chica. (Google Map location) According to Google maps, the drive from South Padre Island is about 55 minutes, 43 miles. You can watch their activities through the fence. But when there are launches or dangerous tests scheduled, they stop folks from getting close. They block access to the roads and surrounding beaches and waters. SpaceX is now in the process of buying out the town and will likely restrict access to the town and the site in the future.
What are other options for seeing SpaceX?
There are websites for SpaceX enthusiasts. Here you can see photos, videos, and view information. Or… you can stay at South Padre Island. Padre is only 40 miles from the launch site. You can see the rocket lit up on the assembly pad on a clear night when you cross the Queen Isabella Causeway to and from the island.
What is the best place on South Padre Island for viewing launches?
An amphitheater in Isla Blanca Park on Padre is the perfect place, and seems to have been built especially for this purpose.
What is the launch schedule for rockets at the Boca Chica site?
It depends on assembly and testing progress as well as weather. At this time no firm launch windows have been announced. According to an unnamed source, if all goes well, a static fire of the vehicle’s three Raptor engines could occur in early March, potentially setting a 20 kilometer flight within a few weeks of the static fire. The first commercial spaceflight for SpaceX Starship is scheduled for 2021.