Author Topic: SpaceX Starship & Superheavy - Starbase, Boca Chica, TX - Launch Viewing  (Read 22922 times)

Offline russianhalo117

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As with launches from other launch sites people ask for viewing locations for each launch, but since a lot of the info is the same each time, we're going to start a general viewing thread for viewing of Starbase, Boca Chica, TX launches.

US viewing locations for starters: Isla Blanca park site, South Padre, Brownsville, Port Isabel et al.
Mexican viewing locations for starters: TBA.
If you are looking for VAFB launch viewing info please consult: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
If you are looking for CCSFS/KSC launch viewing info please consult: SpaceX Falcon 9 - CCSFS/KSC (Florida Space Coast) - Launch Viewing
« Last Edit: 02/19/2023 04:25 am by russianhalo117 »

Offline AC in NC

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This thread is aspirational.

Offline gongora

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This thread should probably remain locked until SpaceX has a launch site in Texas.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Title updated, moved to SS/SH sub-forum, unlocked, and bumped.
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Offline CorvusCorax

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With the upcoming launch, it seems there are increasing question where and how to best view launches in Texas. Maybe it's time to start a dedicated thread for this, now that there will be missions from there soon.

From what I heard, the best viewing will be from South Padre Island.

Boca Chica Village and Starbase will be within the evacuation zone, and viewing from the facilities there (Stargate, etc..) won't be possible for visitors (or even residents). The best view should be from across the water, especially with launches of vehicles the size of Starship.




Offline russianhalo117

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This thread should probably remain locked until SpaceX has a launch site in Texas.
Title updated, moved to SS/SH sub-forum, unlocked, and bumped.
This thread has now met the requirements previously imposed in 2018. The thread title has been updated to reflect the sites current company town name.
« Last Edit: 02/19/2023 12:17 am by russianhalo117 »

Offline Nomadd

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 The Collective never actually put out firm guidence for the SN launches. It was pretty much, keep moving outward until the Sheriff's dept. stopped threatening you.
 I doubt you'll get much closer than the Isla Blanca park site.
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Offline daveglo

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Based on the experience of launches at the Cape, the locals better prepare for a crowd like Spring Break (only maybe slightly better-behaved).  If I was a local official, I'd have traffic plans drawn up and a public guide published.  Otherwise, the residents in and around Brownsville, South Padre, and Port Isabel are going to be really peeved when they can't do their daily routines due to all of the spectators jockeying for decent spots.

Enterprising locals will set up parking/food/drink/potty areas on every square inch they can spare, charge a small ransom, and make a sack of cash over this event.  Probably more than once.

Local hotels (most within 100 miles) are going to have to deal with reservations that get made and then moved as the launch date (inevitably) slips.  Local restaurants could have a windfall if they're prepared.

The basic message: don't underestimate the size of the rocket geek crowd.  The first launch promises to be quite a show.

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I casually checked and it seems there are more flight choices from nearby Harlingen (HRL) or McAllen (MFE) than Brownsville (BRO)?
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Offline russianhalo117

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Offline russianhalo117

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I casually checked and it seems there are more flight choices from nearby Harlingen (HRL) or McAllen (MFE) than Brownsville (BRO)?
Depends upon the season. Seasonal airline routes are a thing.

Offline Jakusb

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I am strongly considering flying from The Netherlands to see the maiden launch. It does seem I might not be the only one flocking to the launch site and surroundings to do the same.
I was at the maiden Falcon Heavy launch, arrived the day before actual launch, just to have at least one week of play for delays. I am planning to do the same again.
Not sure if there is any sightseeing to do while waiting, other then everything SpaceX, but likely will just work remotely in the mean time.

Any tips are much appreciated.

Offline CorvusCorax

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Offline pb2000

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just to have at least one week of play for delays.
I allowed for 2.5 months of delays (wanted to avoid winter regardless) last time Elon promised a launch. Good luck.
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Offline russianhalo117

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I am strongly considering flying from The Netherlands to see the maiden launch. It does seem I might not be the only one flocking to the launch site and surroundings to do the same.
I was at the maiden Falcon Heavy launch, arrived the day before actual launch, just to have at least one week of play for delays. I am planning to do the same again.
Not sure if there is any sightseeing to do while waiting, other then everything SpaceX, but likely will just work remotely in the mean time.

Any tips are much appreciated.
just to have at least one week of play for delays.
I allowed for 2.5 months of delays (wanted to avoid winter regardless) last time Elon promised a launch. Good luck.
Yeah probably worth getting a maximum 3 month entry visa given how maiden launch campaigns typically go on average. ;)

Offline Jakusb

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The Collective never actually put out firm guidence for the SN launches. It was pretty much, keep moving outward until the Sheriff's dept. stopped threatening you.
 I doubt you'll get much closer than the Isla Blanca park site.
So what distance would that be? And what views would that give from that distance?

Offline Jakusb

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The Collective never actually put out firm guidence for the SN launches. It was pretty much, keep moving outward until the Sheriff's dept. stopped threatening you.
 I doubt you'll get much closer than the Isla Blanca park site.
So what distance would that be? And what views would that give from that distance?
To answer my own question… Pretty good view.

I made the gamble and made reservation for a Motorhome spot at the park for that week. I guess that should be plenty enough to get access there and have front row seats.
I am planning to rent a motorhome for the same week, I will be on my own, so if other enthousiasts might want to join, let me know. We might be able to make that work.

« Last Edit: 02/20/2023 08:41 am by Jakusb »

Offline CorvusCorax

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To answer my own question… Pretty good view.

It helps that Starship is not a tiny rocket. For Rocketlab's Electron you'd probably need to be a bit closer to see more than a dark line in the sky with a bright light at the end and a lot of smoke. But you could fit a number of fully fueled electrons - and maybe even their launch infrastructure - into Starships payload bay ;)


Offline Bob Shaw

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Taking some bicycles might be a good idea (depending on the weather). That would get you  local transport without traffic issues. Electrics would be good, or even an electric scooter.

Offline ClayJar

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Two things stood out to me when mb and I drove over from Louisiana for a nice little sightseeing trip.

First, you can see the goods from way farther away than I'd have naturally expected.  I mean, the generally complete flatness is about the same in south Texas versus south Louisiana, but you're looking at veritable skyscrapers.  (Also, not much in the way of big forest tree cover, hehe.)

Second, usable mobile data bandwidth on South Padre Island was absolutely abysmal.  We weren't there during a holiday or busy season, so I can't blame it on congestion.  It wasn't signal strength, as we both had full signal on our phones (AT&T for me, Verizon for mb, both on current-gen Pixel phones).  Actual usable data was so sparse, it felt like dialup (and on a noisy line, to boot), with web pages sometimes taking minutes to (incompletely) load.

I'm really tempted to make the drive the for launch, and given my first point, it would certainly be an awesome view from the tip of South Padre Island.  On the other hand, given my second point, if I went there in person, I would not expect to have any usable real-time view of the stream(s), which I expect will be *fantastic*.

We stayed at the Quality Inn at 7051 S Padre Island Hwy, Brownsville, TX 78526, as it was reasonably priced during our trip and in a location that gave decent travel distances to South Padre Island and Starbase.  It wasn't anything I'd write home about, but it was convenient.  I wouldn't call it a recommendation, but if anyone does stay there or nearby, I would certainly recommend Taco Chino, 5075 Austin Rd, Brownsville, TX 78521, if you want something to eat.  We'll definitely stop there next time, and since it's not on South Padre Island, I had plenty of bandwidth to use Google Translate to read the menu and order.  ;D

If you're looking for something to pass some time, do stop by the Sea Turtle, Inc. conservation center.  There's a birding center next door and some boardwalk nature trails, too.  Zip-lining back and forth above the parking lot at South Padre Island Adventure Park at the northern terminus of the road on SPI was actually pretty fun, and apparently next time we're in the area, mb's going to require me to accompany her on one of their horseback tours...

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