Author Topic: Starbase, Texas  (Read 306925 times)

Offline Craigles

Re: Starbase, Texas
« Reply #580 on: 03/16/2023 06:53 pm »
A more on-topic discussion – anyone dare to estimate what the current population of Starbase is? (Maybe should specify the Village specifically, so ignoring the handful of people who live on Highway 4, or one of the roads connected to it, before you reach the Sanchez site.) RGV Aerial footage shows ever more trailer parks. Of course, it is hard to tell how many are occupied, and what percentage of residents are permanent versus temporary. Still, I doubt they'd go to the expense of adding more and more if they didn't actually need to house that many people.

Under Texas Local Government Code, incorporation requires a minimum of 201 permanent residents in a (maximum) two square mile area. I wonder how far they are off that milestone. And, if they reach it, is incorporation still something Elon seriously wants to pursue, or was it just a "thought bubble"?
Starbase might be popular enough to incorporate land far west of the Sanchez site.

But your question was where to draw a line around at least 201 people in a two square mile area. SpaceX workers live somewhere. I'm thinking maybe zip code 78521 built up areas along Texas Route 4 west to Ad Astra School and Massey Way, at least. Elon and Spacex won't get unanimous support but they do make lots of friends. It's complicated. In Texas, a joke says, "whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting".

The US Census Bureau has a zip code tabulation areas (ZTCA) tool at https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/geography/guidance/geo-areas/zctas.html. you'd have to format a bunch of queries and filter the output to count the people in zip code 78521.
I'd rather be here now

Offline Simmie82

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Re: Starbase, Texas
« Reply #581 on: 03/17/2023 10:46 pm »
Starbase might be popular enough to incorporate land far west of the Sanchez site.

Well, there are two different ways Starbase incorporation could happen: (1) following the standard rules in the Texas Local Government Code (2) through a special law passed by the Texas State Legislature

For (1), you can read the Code, and various commentaries on it. It is all horrendously complicated, but the basic picture is clear: once they get 201 inhabitants in a two square mile area, they can incorporate that. They can then grow the area over time by annexation, since the two square mile limit (for a population under 600) only applies at incorporation time. The rules around annexation in Texas are horrendously complex and very politically controversial. However, the easiest case is when the landowner consents, and obviously SpaceX is going to consent to annexation of any land it owns. They'd also have to annex some of the intermediate non-public lands (state and federal) to get to non-contiguous SpaceX-owned land – but I think that's achievable. Annexation is often opposed by landowners because it increases their property tax bill, and often they find the extra services they are promised don't eventuate or don't seem to be worth the tax increase. Given state and federal lands are exempt from property tax, and municipalities have very limited powers over them anyway, annexing them is just moving a line on a map which has no real consequences for those lands themselves, it just makes it possible to annex other lands which are beyond them.

For (2), it is really a political question, so who knows. But, if Elon Musk lobbied the state for it, he might well get it – Musk is a pretty popular guy in Texas (especially with the governing party), both for what SpaceX has done for the state, and also for other (obvious) political reasons which would be getting off-topic to elaborate on. But, is this important enough for Musk for him to spend the time on that? And, maybe, if option (1) is a feasible solution, it isn't worth their time or effort or political capital pursuing option (2).

Musk is the kind of guy who speaks out loud every random idea that pops into his head. I'm wondering if Starbase incorporation is something he is serious about or just another one of those random ideas. I hope he is serious though because I think it would be cool.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Starbase, Texas
« Reply #582 on: 04/03/2023 12:34 pm »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Starbase, Texas
« Reply #583 on: 05/15/2023 03:42 pm »
Starbase has a new general manager, reporting directly to Gwynne Shotwell:

https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1658127208932679681

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Scoop – @KathyLueders, former top NASA human spaceflight official, joined SpaceX, according to CNBC sources.

Lueders is based at Starbase in Texas and will report directly to president & COO Gwynne Shotwell:

https://www.cnbc.com/2023/05/15/elon-musks-spacex-hires-former-nasa-official-kathy-lueders.html

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Starbase, Texas
« Reply #584 on: 05/29/2023 03:08 pm »

Offline LooZ

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Re: Starbase, Texas
« Reply #585 on: 05/31/2023 12:19 am »
For many years, we have heard about Starbase being intended to be a "space city." I try to keep the forum fairly up to date, but I may have missed it.

1. Is there any indication that more home construction will start soon in Starbase or the surrounding area?

2. Is there any indication that there are plans to build infrastructure and other outlets like stores, stations, toilets, etc. in or around Starbase?

3. I remember that SpaceX was also buying some land at some distance from Starbase, is it where Ad Astra School is now? Do we know anything about the purpose of this land?


Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Starbase, Texas
« Reply #586 on: 06/01/2023 08:12 pm »
https://twitter.com/spaceoffshore/status/1664363900735836160

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Looks like Starbase is due to receive an international delivery on Friday in the form of a tank.

Last port stop for the delivery vessel is in western Africa, although this may not be the source of the tank.  (Manifest suggests China and I can see stops made in Indonesia too)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Starbase, Texas
« Reply #587 on: 06/02/2023 05:07 pm »
https://twitter.com/spaceoffshore/status/1664679599014281222

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Ahoy! A brand new tank destined for Starbase has just arrived at the Port of Brownsville.

This ship has sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from its previous stop in West Africa (Tank origin may differ)

nsf.live/starbase

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Starbase, Texas
« Reply #588 on: 06/03/2023 08:21 am »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Starbase, Texas
« Reply #589 on: 06/09/2023 05:05 am »
https://twitter.com/tylerg1998/status/1666991616635150339

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Two things that stand out at #Starbase are the 9-meter antennas that were installed at the site in 2016-2017. 📡📡

They were formerly used to track Space Shuttles, but are now available to track Crew Dragon flights & gather data from #Starship tests. @NASASpaceflight

Offline Nomadd

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Re: Starbase, Texas
« Reply #590 on: 06/09/2023 08:06 am »
 Those antennas actually go back to Apollo. They were used out to lunar distances. Not for comms at that range, but for speed and ranging using doppler and delay and as a frequency standard when they were in sight.
« Last Edit: 06/09/2023 09:13 pm by Nomadd »
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.

Offline Hamish.Student

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Re: Starbase, Texas
« Reply #591 on: 06/09/2023 10:42 am »
Those antennas actually go back to Apollo. They were used out to lunar distances. Not for comms at that range, but for speed and ranging using doppler and delay and a frequency standard when they were in sight.
 
 
Incredible heritage. Do we know what SpaceX paid for them?

Offline WTF

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Re: Starbase, Texas
« Reply #592 on: 06/09/2023 08:12 pm »
Incredible heritage. Do we know what SpaceX paid for them?

... from Florida to Starbase ...

I suspect SpaceX paid more to have them moved and installed.
« Last Edit: 06/09/2023 08:13 pm by zubenelgenubi »
Colonel John Paul Stapp, MD. Formulated during those rocket sled experiments ... Stapp's Law: "The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle."

Offline Nomadd

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Re: Starbase, Texas
« Reply #593 on: 06/10/2023 05:32 pm »
 Back east. Notice the booster in the background.
 They probably went for a dollar. Converting them from hydraulic to electric drives and from Cassegrain to single reflector would have been the hard part.
 They still owe me a Hawthorne tour for rescuing one of them from a broken tie down in the wind.
« Last Edit: 06/10/2023 05:42 pm by Nomadd »
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.

Offline Kansan52

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Re: Starbase, Texas
« Reply #594 on: 06/18/2023 01:32 am »
Wow, I remember those days!

Offline Simmie82

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Re: Starbase, Texas
« Reply #595 on: 06/19/2023 10:12 am »
For many years, we have heard about Starbase being intended to be a "space city." I try to keep the forum fairly up to date, but I may have missed it.

1. Is there any indication that more home construction will start soon in Starbase or the surrounding area?
IMHO, probably not. They still have challenges on the environmental approval front – the lawsuit, getting the FAA to approve more than 5 flights a year, desire for approval for wetland reclamation, the idea of a land swap, maybe laying pipelines, etc. Doing too much of those kind of activities could risk that environment approval. I think they probably will build more eventually, but they want to keep it slow and gradual and low-key until they get to a clearer regulatory situation. Also, this is far from their number 1 priority right now, and I don't think they want to spend too much time on it, to avoid distractions.

2. Is there any indication that there are plans to build infrastructure and other outlets like stores, stations, toilets, etc. in or around Starbase?
Nothing recently on this topic that I've heard. See (1). On the other hand, if everything goes to plan (Artemis HLS, etc), Starbase is likely to grow as a tourism destination (sightseers), and environmental regulators may ask SpaceX to pay for facilities (toilets, etc) to reduce the environmental harm caused by those sightseers. If regulators don't ask SpaceX to do anything, it isn't their number 1 priority.

3. I remember that SpaceX was also buying some land at some distance from Starbase, is it where Ad Astra School is now? Do we know anything about the purpose of this land?
The Ad Astra school premises are owned by SpaceX, even though the school is officially an independent not-for-profit–I assume the school leases the buildings (probably for a nominal amount). Haven't they also moved launch control there? Other reasons for buying land (even at that distance) is just saving up land to have it available for future developments and also possible land swaps/environmental offsets.

Offline lykos

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Re: Starbase, Texas
« Reply #596 on: 06/19/2023 02:26 pm »
If you follow "Starbase weekly" you can see, that there is big indication for new houses.
Many new houses have even been built and a big part of the land has been cleared.
Infrastructure will follow!
E.M. wants it and it is not a distruction.

Offline catdlr

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Re: Starbase, Texas
« Reply #597 on: 06/20/2023 04:14 am »


Massey 00:00 to 38:06
Sanchez Site: 38:07 1:12:15
Manufacturing : 1:12:15 to 2:01:44
Village : 2:01:45 to 2:12:14
Launch Pad:  2:12:14 to end
« Last Edit: 06/20/2023 04:15 am by catdlr »
It's Tony De La Rosa, ...I don't create this stuff, I just report it.

Offline Simmie82

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Re: Starbase, Texas
« Reply #598 on: 06/22/2023 11:56 am »
If you follow "Starbase weekly" you can see, that there is big indication for new houses.
Many new houses have even been built and a big part of the land has been cleared.
Infrastructure will follow!
E.M. wants it and it is not a distruction.
Yes there have been a few new houses, but I still think that is pretty "low-key" – it is low-density development. The trailer parks are the same thing.

If Musk were really serious about hitting the minimum population necessary for incorporation ASAP, they'd be putting up mutli-storey apartment buildings, not single family homes and trailer parks.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Starbase, Texas
« Reply #599 on: 06/25/2023 08:16 pm »
https://twitter.com/rgvaerialphotos/status/1673043586315698178

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Starfactory expansion is creeping up towards highway 4 as seen from the latest flyover.
Live discussion here: youtube.com/live/5xk22mf76…

 

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