Brownsville prepares for SpaceX's next move

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POSTED: Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 4:36pm

UPDATED: Friday, July 11, 2014 - 8:59am

It's been three and a half years since Brownsville first entertained the idea of being home base to the space vehicle launch service, Space X.

Now that the federal government has finally dubbed Boca Chica Beach as an appropriate site for rocket launches. All that's left is for SpaceX to make the final decision on one of four locations.

"If they do choose Brownsville, let's say within the next few weeks or few months, we think that they would start almost immediately to turn dirt simply because they are on a tight timeline to launch rockets two years out," said Brownsville Economic Development Council (BEDC) executive vice president Gilbert Salinas.

SpaceX officials are eager to begin blasting rockets. But, that also means making sure everything is prepared and ready beforehand:

"This project is, construction wise, will take about 18 months to 24 months," said Salinas.

There are three components to the construction of the potential site:

"The actual launch site itself, where the rocket would take off from, and it would have the flame dugs and what have you, the hanger and some office space, and then a launch command center, which is about two miles away, and then adjacent to that would be the ground tracking station," said Salinas.

In due time, Brownsville UT students will be able to use that ground tracking station for their own experience.

"When SpaceX would not be manning that particular ground tracking station, then students from the astrophysics department of UTB, soon to be UT-RGV, will be operating that facility," said Salinas.

If SpaceX does choose Brownsville, it will be a game changer for the entire region.

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