Author Topic: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please  (Read 32058 times)

Offline SilverArrows1

So a few weeks back, I came up with an idea to rent a B Class RV/van and spend a few days at the beach. Planning to camp on South Padre Island (RV Park), then visiting Boca Chica , and finally ending things by dry camping on the beach at the end of the road within Padre Island National Seashore. I have some questions about Boca Chica specifically if we do manage to take the trip.

1.  I understand that that road closures due to testing are always announced on Cameron County's website. Is access to the Boca Chica beach blocked even during days/times when the road closures are not in effect?

2.  Understandably Space X doesn't do tours on property but do any of you go to Boca Chica and conduct tours outside the fenced in areas or have any advice for someone wanting to just go on their own without needing a guide?

I have additional questions but these are my major questions for the time being that I have uncertainty about. A point of contact(s) would be wonderful as well. Thanks everyone!

Offline Nomadd

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #1 on: 07/29/2020 04:27 pm »
So a few weeks back, I came up with an idea to rent a B Class RV/van and spend a few days at the beach. Planning to camp on South Padre Island (RV Park), then visiting Boca Chica , and finally ending things by dry camping on the beach at the end of the road within Padre Island National Seashore. I have some questions about Boca Chica specifically if we do manage to take the trip.

1.  I understand that that road closures due to testing are always announced on Cameron County's website. Is access to the Boca Chica beach blocked even during days/times when the road closures are not in effect?

2.  Understandably Space X doesn't do tours on property but do any of you go to Boca Chica and conduct tours outside the fenced in areas or have any advice for someone wanting to just go on their own without needing a guide?

I have additional questions but these are my major questions for the time being that I have uncertainty about. A point of contact(s) would be wonderful as well. Thanks everyone!
You do realize that beaches are closed because of the pandemic, right? Sheriffs, state police and Fish & Wildlife all show up on occasion to chase people away. I'm not sure what's available in South Padre.
 Your best guide would be to read the threads, print out the maps and aerial photos and meander around. You'll know more about operations and what's going on than a lot of SpaceX employees.
 Road closures happen almost any time lately, so scheduling anything can be dicey. They're getting more aggressive in keeping non residents away during testing, and testing happens a lot.
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.

Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #2 on: 09/14/2020 01:59 pm »
So with Boca Chica Beach open again after Labor Day, and with the SpaceX scheduled road closures generally being scheduled for 9pm-6am in the past couple weeks,

...it seems this fall could be a reasonable time for a visit. 
(before the walls get higher and access may become more restricted over time as SpaceX begins to fly vehicles with more engines)

Anyone got plans?  Know where to charge a Tesla? (there seem to be no superchargers in Brownsville)   
Re arguments from authority on NSF:  "no one is exempt from error, and errors of authority are usually the worst kind.  Taking your word for things without question is no different than a bracket design not being tested because the designer was an old hand."
"You would actually save yourself time and effort if you were to use evidence and logic to make your points instead of wrapping yourself in the royal mantle of authority.  The approach only works on sheep, not inquisitive, intelligent people."

Online Zed_Noir

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #3 on: 09/14/2020 04:51 pm »
<snip>
Know where to charge a Tesla? (there seem to be no superchargers in Brownsville)

There are 150kW Supercharger stalls at McAllen and 72kW Supercharger stalls at South Padre Island along with nearby destination chargers near the two location.

The progress on the Brownsville Supercharger been delay by current events. Eventually there will be an 8 stall V3 (250kW) Supercharger located at the HEB + grocery store at 2155 Paredes Line Road.

edit - corrected from W to kW, thanks @Robotbeat
« Last Edit: 09/15/2020 04:10 pm by Zed_Noir »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #4 on: 09/15/2020 03:57 pm »
150kW. Kilowatts, not just Watts! Or, if you prefer Watts: 150,000 Watts. In scientific notation: 1.5*10^5 Watts.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Online danneely

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #5 on: 09/15/2020 09:51 pm »
How busy is the beach normally?  Being inconveniently located, and without any nearby facilities I'd guess it'd normally not see many people.  OTOH this year, packing everything in to middle of nowhere sounds more appealing than normal.

From the other direction, is there enough distance between beach and SpaceX's construction sites to have peace and quiet, or would you be listening to a continuous concert of diesel engines, backup beepers, and power tools?

Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #6 on: 09/15/2020 10:11 pm »
... is there enough distance between beach and SpaceX's construction sites to have peace and quiet, or would you be listening to a continuous concert of diesel engines, backup beepers, and power tools?

For those on this forum, that's kind of the point, isn't it?

I mean, once SpaceX decided to call this place their first, and the first-ever, private launch site, and the local and state government supported them, this particular beach was never going to be some idyllic Robinson Crusoe quiet beach, with limited tech, and off of normal transport routes.

SpaceX is why more people go to Boca Chica today than ever did prior to 2014, or late 2018, when the spaceshipyard got underway in a pronounced manner.
Re arguments from authority on NSF:  "no one is exempt from error, and errors of authority are usually the worst kind.  Taking your word for things without question is no different than a bracket design not being tested because the designer was an old hand."
"You would actually save yourself time and effort if you were to use evidence and logic to make your points instead of wrapping yourself in the royal mantle of authority.  The approach only works on sheep, not inquisitive, intelligent people."

Offline Nomadd

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #7 on: 09/16/2020 01:42 am »
How busy is the beach normally?  Being inconveniently located, and without any nearby facilities I'd guess it'd normally not see many people.  OTOH this year, packing everything in to middle of nowhere sounds more appealing than normal.

From the other direction, is there enough distance between beach and SpaceX's construction sites to have peace and quiet, or would you be listening to a continuous concert of diesel engines, backup beepers, and power tools?
The beach is over 7 miles long. On a busy day, it has about as many people as 200 feet of beach in parts of Florida. You can always find a half mile stretch to yourself. Most weekday mornings and all day in the cooler seasons, there might be a few fishermen. Sometimes you can walk the 3 miles to the Rio Grande and back again without seeing another person. The dunes do a good job of blocking noise from the site.
« Last Edit: 09/16/2020 01:44 am by Nomadd »
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.

Offline Hog

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #8 on: 09/16/2020 01:05 pm »
... is there enough distance between beach and SpaceX's construction sites to have peace and quiet, or would you be listening to a continuous concert of diesel engines, backup beepers, and power tools?

For those on this forum, that's kind of the point, isn't it?

I mean, once SpaceX decided to call this place their first, and the first-ever, private launch site, and the local and state government supported them, this particular beach was never going to be some idyllic Robinson Crusoe quiet beach, with limited tech, and off of normal transport routes.

SpaceX is why more people go to Boca Chica today than ever did prior to 2014, or late 2018, when the spaceshipyard got underway in a pronounced manner.
The guy just asked a couple questions.  No need to hoist the Space X "circle wagons" flag.
Paul

Online danneely

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #9 on: 09/16/2020 04:37 pm »
... is there enough distance between beach and SpaceX's construction sites to have peace and quiet, or would you be listening to a continuous concert of diesel engines, backup beepers, and power tools?

For those on this forum, that's kind of the point, isn't it?

I mean, once SpaceX decided to call this place their first, and the first-ever, private launch site, and the local and state government supported them, this particular beach was never going to be some idyllic Robinson Crusoe quiet beach, with limited tech, and off of normal transport routes.

SpaceX is why more people go to Boca Chica today than ever did prior to 2014, or late 2018, when the spaceshipyard got underway in a pronounced manner.

Well yeah.  But even here some of us have family members that are mundanes.  ::)  And beyond that I was curious how reasonable it'd be for someone localish who wanted to avoid the crowds on South Padre.

Offline Nomadd

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #10 on: 09/16/2020 05:13 pm »
... is there enough distance between beach and SpaceX's construction sites to have peace and quiet, or would you be listening to a continuous concert of diesel engines, backup beepers, and power tools?

For those on this forum, that's kind of the point, isn't it?

I mean, once SpaceX decided to call this place their first, and the first-ever, private launch site, and the local and state government supported them, this particular beach was never going to be some idyllic Robinson Crusoe quiet beach, with limited tech, and off of normal transport routes.

SpaceX is why more people go to Boca Chica today than ever did prior to 2014, or late 2018, when the spaceshipyard got underway in a pronounced manner.

Well yeah.  But even here some of us have family members that are mundanes.  ::)  And beyond that I was curious how reasonable it'd be for someone localish who wanted to avoid the crowds on South Padre.
The beach is pretty much gone on occasion by the way. Don't drive 4 miles out onto the sand without knowing what the water level will be in two hours. If you do go north and walk out on the jetty, you can usually see dolphins, sharks, sea turtles and many large birds messing around in the water. Along with an occasional aircraft carrier coming to die. (Kitty Hawk will probably be the last)
 If you want to swim, just ignore all the Makos out there with you. They haven't eaten anyone in years.
« Last Edit: 09/16/2020 05:18 pm by Nomadd »
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.

Online danneely

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #11 on: 09/16/2020 07:39 pm »
... is there enough distance between beach and SpaceX's construction sites to have peace and quiet, or would you be listening to a continuous concert of diesel engines, backup beepers, and power tools?

For those on this forum, that's kind of the point, isn't it?

I mean, once SpaceX decided to call this place their first, and the first-ever, private launch site, and the local and state government supported them, this particular beach was never going to be some idyllic Robinson Crusoe quiet beach, with limited tech, and off of normal transport routes.

SpaceX is why more people go to Boca Chica today than ever did prior to 2014, or late 2018, when the spaceshipyard got underway in a pronounced manner.

Well yeah.  But even here some of us have family members that are mundanes.  ::)  And beyond that I was curious how reasonable it'd be for someone localish who wanted to avoid the crowds on South Padre.
The beach is pretty much gone on occasion by the way. Don't drive 4 miles out onto the sand without knowing what the water level will be in two hours. If you do go north and walk out on the jetty, you can usually see dolphins, sharks, sea turtles and many large birds messing around in the water. Along with an occasional aircraft carrier coming to die. (Kitty Hawk will probably be the last)
 If you want to swim, just ignore all the Makos out there with you. They haven't eaten anyone in years.

Yeah, even if you have a tide chart don't wait until the last minute to try leaving.  A tow vehicle (4x4 truck/SUV) won't be able to show up right away if you get stuck; and the rental company really won't be happy with you if you get stuck and drown their car in salt water.

Offline Tomness

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #12 on: 09/16/2020 09:54 pm »

Yeah, even if you have a tide chart don't wait until the last minute to try leaving.  A tow vehicle (4x4 truck/SUV) won't be able to show up right away if you get stuck; and the rental company really won't be happy with you if you get stuck and drown their car in salt water.

I have worked for a major rental company's road side service. It specifically says not to drive on a dirt road or sand or it will void the contract any insurance you paid them for  is tossed out and your on your own for cost of tow truck and repair after they retrieved it

Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #13 on: 09/17/2020 09:22 pm »
I decided to take a little visit to Boca Chica.  Driving down; will hit the launch site and build sites tomorrow.  Beach walks, both up north, and down to the Rio Grande, on other good weather days.  Will check out South Padre Island while I'm at it, and the greater Brownsville area of the RGV. 

Thanks for the advice and ideas everyone!
Re arguments from authority on NSF:  "no one is exempt from error, and errors of authority are usually the worst kind.  Taking your word for things without question is no different than a bracket design not being tested because the designer was an old hand."
"You would actually save yourself time and effort if you were to use evidence and logic to make your points instead of wrapping yourself in the royal mantle of authority.  The approach only works on sheep, not inquisitive, intelligent people."

Offline Saabstory88

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #14 on: 09/26/2020 05:15 pm »
My wife and I have also been looking into making this stop in a couple weeks, as part of a larger road trip. We understand that this may coincide with major access closures as we progress deeper into more advanced tests, which is totally fine, as we would also like to visit the nearby wildlife reserve.

We would like to be respectful to both the residents and to the rules around the sites, and want to clarify:

Where is it okay to stop? I'm familiar with the overview of the area, and the positions from which photos and streams are conducted. Can anybody stop in those locations, or is there a special relationship with the residents/streamers and SpaceX security?

Can you get stuck on the wrong side of a road block? Clearly, we would not want to venture in advance of a listed closure, but for example, if they are moving something to and from the pad from the build site, will they give warning to the beachgoers, or should you be prepared to wait?

Are there any businesses along the (island? isthmus? highway 4), which would appreciate patronage?

What's the deal with South Padre Island? If there is say, a vehicle heading to 20K that day, is that the place to stay? If not, is it worth an overnight there, or should we just stay in Brownsville?

What kind of snacks, supplies, or sundries would be appreciated by the people sitting out in the sun all day providing coverage?

I decided to take a little visit to Boca Chica.  Driving down; will hit the launch site and build sites tomorrow.  Beach walks, both up north, and down to the Rio Grande, on other good weather days.  Will check out South Padre Island while I'm at it, and the greater Brownsville area of the RGV. 

Thanks for the advice and ideas everyone!

How was your charging experience? Anything we should be aware of?

Hope to get to see this stuff in person.


Offline Dave G

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #15 on: 09/27/2020 10:34 am »
What's the deal with South Padre Island? If there is say, a vehicle heading to 20K that day, is that the place to stay?

Does this count?

They've also built a launch viewing center on the Southern tip of SPI.
« Last Edit: 09/27/2020 12:10 pm by Dave G »

Offline edzieba

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #16 on: 09/29/2020 02:37 pm »
Where is it okay to stop? I'm familiar with the overview of the area, and the positions from which photos and streams are conducted. Can anybody stop in those locations, or is there a special relationship with the residents/streamers and SpaceX security?
From what I recall, it is now discouraged for looky-loos to park up along the road adjacent to the SpaceX site. Not 'illegal', but 'security of potentially local Sheriff rolls up and politely explains this is an active work site and asks you please to move on' discouraged. Plus you may get your car caught in the mud to the amusements of the local residents.
Quote
Can you get stuck on the wrong side of a road block?
No, if they're intending to test than part of the preparation for that (and a requirement of their license) is to clear the hazard area of any non-essential personnel first. I suppose you could hide out somewhere in a ghillie suit and be missed, but I'm sure Nomadd could explain the many reasons why that would be a bad idea for everyone involved (except for squamous local wildlife).
Quote
What's the deal with South Padre Island? If there is say, a vehicle heading to 20K that day, is that the place to stay? If not, is it worth an overnight there, or should we just stay in Brownsville?
As mentioned, there is a covered viewing area on the south coast of South Padre Island. SPI is a resort, so has plenty of accommodation. You'd need to drive around the port channel to get to Boca Chica beach (an hour or more each way). I'm not familiar enough with US maritime legislation to say whether you could charter a small boat from SPI and beach it on Boca Chica beach in order to walk to the launch site.

Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #17 on: 10/05/2020 09:30 pm »
My wife and I have also been looking into making this stop in a couple weeks, as part of a larger road trip. We understand that this may coincide with major access closures as we progress deeper into more advanced tests, which is totally fine, as we would also like to visit the nearby wildlife reserve.

We would like to be respectful to both the residents and to the rules around the sites, and want to clarify:

Where is it okay to stop? I'm familiar with the overview of the area, and the positions from which photos and streams are conducted. Can anybody stop in those locations, or is there a special relationship with the residents/streamers and SpaceX security?

Can you get stuck on the wrong side of a road block? Clearly, we would not want to venture in advance of a listed closure, but for example, if they are moving something to and from the pad from the build site, will they give warning to the beachgoers, or should you be prepared to wait?

Are there any businesses along the (island? isthmus? highway 4), which would appreciate patronage?

What's the deal with South Padre Island? If there is say, a vehicle heading to 20K that day, is that the place to stay? If not, is it worth an overnight there, or should we just stay in Brownsville?

What kind of snacks, supplies, or sundries would be appreciated by the people sitting out in the sun all day providing coverage?

I decided to take a little visit to Boca Chica.  Driving down; will hit the launch site and build sites tomorrow.  Beach walks, both up north, and down to the Rio Grande, on other good weather days.  Will check out South Padre Island while I'm at it, and the greater Brownsville area of the RGV. 

Thanks for the advice and ideas everyone!

How was your charging experience? Anything we should be aware of?

Hope to get to see this stuff in person.

I've written you a PM.

As for Tesla charging infrastructure that is available to the public, that is quite limited.  There are a number of destination chargers in Brownsville (Plug Share has them and is pretty up to date if you read the comments).

South Padre has a three-unit (two working) Supercharger; plus several destination chargers.

I used a little of all three of those on my trip.  If you are staying in a hotel, I'd recommend just staying at one of the locations with a Tesla destination charger.

The new Supercharger for Brownsville (slated for the HEB Plus supermarket on Reuben Torres) had not even broken ground when I checked it in late September; but Tesla is still showing it on a 2020 list of new Superchargers this year.
Re arguments from authority on NSF:  "no one is exempt from error, and errors of authority are usually the worst kind.  Taking your word for things without question is no different than a bracket design not being tested because the designer was an old hand."
"You would actually save yourself time and effort if you were to use evidence and logic to make your points instead of wrapping yourself in the royal mantle of authority.  The approach only works on sheep, not inquisitive, intelligent people."

Offline Nomadd

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #18 on: 11/06/2020 05:33 am »
 Anybody visiting the site this month can have the wonderful experience of walking on a beach carpeted with thousands of dead Moon Jellyfish.
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.

Offline Johnnyhinbos

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #19 on: 11/06/2020 05:49 am »
Anybody visiting the site this month can have the wonderful experience of walking on a beach carpeted with thousands of dead Moon Jellyfish.
Apropos...
John Hanzl. Author, action / adventure www.johnhanzl.com

Offline Nomadd

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #20 on: 11/06/2020 07:11 am »
Anybody visiting the site this month can have the wonderful experience of walking on a beach carpeted with thousands of dead Moon Jellyfish.
Apropos...
Why can't you be like the other kids?
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.

Offline Alvian@IDN

My parents was just being born when the Apollo program is over. Why we are still stuck in this stagnation, let's go forward again

Offline PuterSaurus

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #22 on: 01/18/2021 10:25 pm »
Joined this forum for this discussion.  Thank you.

I will be in the Brownsville area on Sunday (Jan 24, 2021) and would like to do a drive to any part of the SpaceX site I can get close to for pics.  Is this possible? and what recommendations would you have?  Route/roads? 

Thanks so much in advance.

Offline loekf

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #23 on: 01/19/2021 09:37 am »
Joined this forum for this discussion.  Thank you.

I will be in the Brownsville area on Sunday (Jan 24, 2021) and would like to do a drive to any part of the SpaceX site I can get close to for pics.  Is this possible? and what recommendations would you have?  Route/roads? 

Thanks so much in advance.

Check the Youtube movie of Tim (everydayastronaut), which was streaming live from his Model 3 last sunday. Think you get pretty much an idea where to go and where to stop. You can only stop at one side of the road safely. It's a HW, so 55 MPH max.

Only do not drive to the beach !!!! He had an accident (minor) with an idiot in a pick-up truck who came driving up from the beach.

Offline quagmire

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #24 on: 01/24/2021 10:41 pm »
Joined this forum for this discussion.  Thank you.

I will be in the Brownsville area on Sunday (Jan 24, 2021) and would like to do a drive to any part of the SpaceX site I can get close to for pics.  Is this possible? and what recommendations would you have?  Route/roads? 

Thanks so much in advance.

Check the Youtube movie of Tim (everydayastronaut), which was streaming live from his Model 3 last sunday. Think you get pretty much an idea where to go and where to stop. You can only stop at one side of the road safely. It's a HW, so 55 MPH max.

Only do not drive to the beach !!!! He had an accident (minor) with an idiot in a pick-up truck who came driving up from the beach.

That video was super helpful since I was in the area today as well. Though when I got to the parking area by the entrance to the launch site where he parked, there was a security guy that was staring at us when we parked and began to radio someone so decided to drive off.

But it was an incredible experience to see SN9, Hoppy, SN10, and SN5.

Online Mandella

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #25 on: 01/25/2021 04:48 pm »
Going to post a link since, even with all the 3D models and pictures and videos, watching Tim's short drive is the first time it all came together for me. I hope to get out there and see it for myself sometime before it all blows up.*



Due warning in that the video is really choppy due to the bad cell coverage. I think he intends to clean it up and repost it, but has had a bit of a busy week and hasn't gotten around to it yet.

*Er, I mean "blows up" as in too popular and busy to have a casual drive through, not in the explody sense...

Online Zed_Noir

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #26 on: 03/04/2021 08:05 pm »
Update on the 8 stall V3 (250kW) Supercharger located at the HEB + grocery store at 2155 Paredes Line Road.

Apparently the Brownsville Supercharger is operational according to the supercharger dot info website.

There is a post on the supercharger-brownsville-tx thread on the teslamotorsclub dot com website with photo of Teslas charging at the Brownsville Supercharger. See post #86.

https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/supercharger-brownsville-tx.185875/page-5
« Last Edit: 03/04/2021 08:07 pm by Zed_Noir »

Offline brianmat

I had asked this on Discord and searched the forums and I couldn't find a good list of tips/info for first-time visitors to Starbase.  We're headed there in November and I want to get some things planned out.

Hopefully, others who have visited and current area residents can drop some sone info in here.

Particularly I am looking for things such as:

- Best viewing spots for SN15/SN16.  How close can you expect to get?

- Tips to be respectful of SpaceX - good parking areas, things to avoid, etc.  I don't want to park somewhere just because I see other cars.  I'd rather be in a good spot that doesn't get in the way.  I want to make sure I'm a good space tourist since this level of access with SpaceX isn't something you can get with any other company.

- Places to eat.  Where are the best tacos (obviously) and where is a good spot where the locals hang out? 

- Places to stay
It seems The Pearl is the best place to stay if you want a view of the launch complex, but what are some other recommendations for the space nerds?

- Car rental.  Hertz is closed on Sundays and Budget, Enterprise close at 5 on Sunday.

- Other things to see in the area.  I am traveling with my SO, so what other things are there to do for our more than patient but not nearly as nerdy as us companions?  We're looking at a few day cruises and would like some suggestions.

Tripadvisor is a good option, but I would like to get more thoughts from the like-minded space community.

If I am missing a current thread please slap my hand and point me in the right direction.  I sure couldn't find it if it's there.

Offline sanman

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #28 on: 09/29/2021 01:19 am »
I'd been reading about the Rocket Ranch, which started as a campsite and has been growing and evolving for the past year-and-a-half:




I wonder what its total capacity is now? It's interesting to see these sites spontaneously popping up, and hopefully Boca Chica will remain a spaceport for a long time to come, even after the offshore launch platforms have been operationalized.

Offline Elvis in Space

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #29 on: 10/07/2021 04:08 pm »
I'd been reading about the Rocket Ranch, which started as a campsite and has been growing and evolving for the past year-and-a-half:




I wonder what its total capacity is now? It's interesting to see these sites spontaneously popping up, and hopefully Boca Chica will remain a spaceport for a long time to come, even after the offshore launch platforms have been operationalized.

I studied their website for a while and I don't have a problem with Spartan accommodation so it looks worth a visit. Time permitting I may at least check it out. Thanks.
Cheeseburgers on Mars!

Offline Elvis in Space

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #30 on: 11/06/2021 01:35 am »
I finally made it to Boca Chica today. Not much of a technical nature that I can discuss that hasn't been brought up in other forums many times. Best thing I have to offer is a little mention of the atmosphere which is kind of a "wild west frontier shipyard of the future." I was running up and down the road taking pictures and chatting with folks out there doing much the same. It was great to be able to get the actual layout right in front of me so all the photos and maps now make a lot more sense.

The biggest activity I could see was a relentless stream of tankers unloading LOX and liquid nitrogen. I probably saw two dozen during my time there and as many as five trucks unloading at one time. It appeared that they also were near complete with the rigging of Elon's new crane. I work in a chemical plant and I'm not unaccustomed to work like this going on but level of activity was ten times greater than anything I've seen before.

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Offline gemmy0I

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #31 on: 11/06/2021 01:48 am »
The biggest activity I could see was a relentless stream of tankers unloading LOX and liquid nitrogen. I probably saw two dozen during my time there and as many as five trucks unloading at one time. It appeared that they also were near complete with the rigging of Elon's new crane. I work in a chemical plant and I'm not unaccustomed to work like this going on but level of activity was ten times greater than anything I've seen before.
I've noticed (both in these pictures and others) that the trucks pulling the cryo tanker trailers are invariably outfitted with sleeper cabs rather than day cabs. Does anyone know how far away they're bringing the cryogenics in from?

Given the widespread demand for LOX and LN2 in e.g. hospitals, industrial settings, etc., I'd have expected both to be sourceable locally from Brownsville. Ditto for LNG; from what I've read, it's not super common to have any liquid/gas petroleum products trucked long-distance because pipelines are far, far cheaper, so the trucks are just doing "last-mile" delivery. (Even when a pipeline isn't available, usually rail transport is used to get it as close as possible to the destination, because it's still massively cheaper than driving it one truckload at a time.) Given that the area has a long history of oil and gas development it would very much surprise me if there wasn't a pipeline/storage point in Brownsville that the trucks could pick up from and do short hauls to Starbase. (I know there was talk about a big LNG terminal going in at the Port of Brownsville, but I don't recall if it's operational yet.) Anywhere in the Brownsville area should surely be close enough that drivers based there could be home by end of shift, i.e. not need sleeper cabs for deliveries to Starbase.

Perhaps others with more knowledge of the industry and its norms can shed some light on this?

Online danneely

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #32 on: 11/07/2021 04:02 am »
The biggest activity I could see was a relentless stream of tankers unloading LOX and liquid nitrogen. I probably saw two dozen during my time there and as many as five trucks unloading at one time. It appeared that they also were near complete with the rigging of Elon's new crane. I work in a chemical plant and I'm not unaccustomed to work like this going on but level of activity was ten times greater than anything I've seen before.
I've noticed (both in these pictures and others) that the trucks pulling the cryo tanker trailers are invariably outfitted with sleeper cabs rather than day cabs. Does anyone know how far away they're bringing the cryogenics in from?

Given the widespread demand for LOX and LN2 in e.g. hospitals, industrial settings, etc., I'd have expected both to be sourceable locally from Brownsville. Ditto for LNG; from what I've read, it's not super common to have any liquid/gas petroleum products trucked long-distance because pipelines are far, far cheaper, so the trucks are just doing "last-mile" delivery. (Even when a pipeline isn't available, usually rail transport is used to get it as close as possible to the destination, because it's still massively cheaper than driving it one truckload at a time.) Given that the area has a long history of oil and gas development it would very much surprise me if there wasn't a pipeline/storage point in Brownsville that the trucks could pick up from and do short hauls to Starbase. (I know there was talk about a big LNG terminal going in at the Port of Brownsville, but I don't recall if it's operational yet.) Anywhere in the Brownsville area should surely be close enough that drivers based there could be home by end of shift, i.e. not need sleeper cabs for deliveries to Starbase.

Perhaps others with more knowledge of the industry and its norms can shed some light on this?

Liquid gas is widely available so I'd be surprised if it's being hauled very long distances.  If Starship needs purer methane than the chemical industry does that might need to be long haul from a specialty supplier; but the image above is LOX trucks.  The only thing that occurs to me is that since the tankers normally only drive short distances and spend a lot of time parked un/loading the operators might buy used trucks that have been used long enough that they're not up to doing a thousand miles/day anymore but 100-200/day is still doable without pushing the maintenance too hard.

Offline Tywin

Hi, sorry to open this thread, if it's not the right place you can move it, but I would like advice from people who have been to Starbase, to know what they recommend, places to stay, where to watch a launch, etc...
The knowledge is power...Everything is connected...
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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #34 on: 04/04/2023 05:44 pm »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #35 on: 04/14/2023 05:14 pm »

Offline CaptainFilter

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #36 on: 04/15/2023 02:06 am »
I shall pile onto the above request and supplied info:

I have secured a last minute trip to Boca. Whether or not SpaceX launches Starship, I am sure there will be plenty of like-minded enthusiasts in the area. Is anyone aware of any "fan" meet ups? As a fellow rocket nerd, I am predictably travelling alone and as such looking for some company. I would hope NSF would host something, but my common sense tells me they prefer a slightly lower profile (really, no judgement. I would be the same way).

Offline seggybop

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #37 on: 04/15/2023 03:59 am »
Eric Berger recently posted a map of the official keep-out zone for the launch, which seems to indicate everything west of 97į12'26"W is safe.

Can anyone familiar with the area say if that means it's OK to exist as a human if you're already present between that line and the initial roadblock at the edge of the city?

Offline Jakusb

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #38 on: 04/15/2023 11:33 am »
I shall pile onto the above request and supplied info:

I have secured a last minute trip to Boca. Whether or not SpaceX launches Starship, I am sure there will be plenty of like-minded enthusiasts in the area. Is anyone aware of any "fan" meet ups? As a fellow rocket nerd, I am predictably travelling alone and as such looking for some company. I would hope NSF would host something, but my common sense tells me they prefer a slightly lower profile (really, no judgement. I would be the same way).
I will be on Isla Blanca Parc to watch the launch. I booked a hotel close by on the island.
If there is a meet up somewhere, I would be interested.
I am also hoping to see the stack up close, likely will be too late for that. Flying into Houston Sunday 1500-ish and have to drive there first. So I will arrive late on Sunday day and likely already all vacated and unable to get to launch site by then.

Offline Jakusb

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #39 on: 04/16/2023 07:38 am »
I bought an 10GB data eSim for next 30 days for USA, only then to realise my phone does not support eSim.  ::)
Anyone interested, PM me. It is a waste to not use it.

Now hoping to find an actual physical SIM at Houston Airport to use during my trip to Boca Chica.

And anyone wanting to meetup at Isla Blanca Park tomorrow, PM me too. Always nice to meet fellow space(X)-fans!

Offline Jakusb

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #40 on: 04/19/2023 08:28 pm »
For anyone visiting South Padre Island to see the launch, some insights after a few days on the island:
- There is plenty of room and free access to amazing views across the water
- Even Stage 0 is clearly visible from most places on the water side (from RV park al the way to start of the beach)
- If you want to park at Isla Blanca Park, it will require a day pass of 12 dollars and some proper timing, as last monday parking was at capacity.
- If Parc is at capacity (for cars) there are plenty of free parking options to park a little further away along boulevard.
- Most people bring a camping chair, but there is plenty of grass to sit on, or just stand and talk to all the amazing fans around you
- Some people bring beach trolley, which makes it easier to bring more support material (chairs, water, food)
- Internet will be limited, at least it was last Monday. Some people had hardly any working connection, others managed to see the live stream with some interruptions. Don't expect your normal infinite speeds ;)
- Check the weather, bring sun screen and enough water. They are not very commercial regarding allowing or providing food trucks. They could make a ton of money, there was an ice cream guy, but not much else.
- If you come by car, and park at the park, expect hours delay after event is over. Getting off the island will be a challenge for your patients ;)

Maybe this is helpful, to anyone visiting SPI for the first time to see a launch.

Offline intrepidpursuit

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #41 on: 04/19/2023 11:34 pm »
I need help. I need a ride from Valley International Airport at midnight tonight to South Padre Island.
I'm flying back into Valley International Airport at midnight tonight and my Turo rental car just cancelled. Turo has no more cars, the rental car companies will be closed, Uber and Lyft show that they are unavailable, the taxis are booked.
I have an incredible condo rental on South Padre Island that can see the launch mount. It had parking passes and an extra bed. I was actually hoping to post an invite to join me anyway, so company would be welcome.

Please message me if you are willing to save my trip. I would be in your debt.
« Last Edit: 04/19/2023 11:41 pm by intrepidpursuit »

Offline RcTeller

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #42 on: 04/20/2023 02:35 am »
Hey IP,

If you donít get my PM, send me one with your contact info and weíll text and figure something out.

Cheers!

Offline alugobi

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #43 on: 04/20/2023 02:50 am »
Heckofadeal!

Offline intrepidpursuit

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #44 on: 04/20/2023 03:27 am »
Hey IP,

If you donít get my PM, send me one with your contact info and weíll text and figure something out.

Cheers!

Thank you! Responded to your PM.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #45 on: 06/28/2023 06:10 am »
https://twitter.com/blainelikebrain/status/1673838420651659268

Quote
Good news! The Rocket Garden on Remedios Road at SpaceX Starbase is open to the public again following construction. 🏗️🚧

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #46 on: 11/17/2023 04:42 pm »
https://twitter.com/davidjdphotos/status/1725562785902305523

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A sad announcement.

Unfortunately as of today the Starbase Rocket Garden is no longer accessible to the public.

A security guard informed us just now that the road is entirely SpaceX property.

https://twitter.com/davidjdphotos/status/1725564933645996230

Quote
Itís a busy road with all their industry. While sad it is understandable. Too unsafe for folks to be walking down it.

Edit to add: hmm

https://twitter.com/spmttracker/status/1725565793906147747

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Are you sure about that? Some are saying they were there just now without any restrictions. This road is public and dissolvement would need to be announced officially beforehand
« Last Edit: 11/17/2023 04:51 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #47 on: 11/21/2023 09:59 pm »
twitter.com/esherifftv/status/1727034132495212939

Quote
NO MORE:
Iíve learned that access to the rocket garden at Starbase is no more.
Iím very grateful Iíve been able to get some great shots over the years.
#starbase #spacex

https://twitter.com/joetegtmeyer/status/1727046932793839725

Quote
Here is a close up of the Private Property signs and how you can no longer get up close to the Starships.

Offline rsdavis9

even in apr 15 2022 when I visited there were signs. Now they appear to refer to the road. When I was there there was a security truck parked next to the garden and somebody went up and touched the rocket and the guard said something.

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Offline EL_DIABLO

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #49 on: 11/23/2023 03:21 pm »
twitter.com/esherifftv/status/1727034132495212939

Quote
NO MORE:
Iíve learned that access to the rocket garden at Starbase is no more.
Iím very grateful Iíve been able to get some great shots over the years.
#starbase #spacex

https://twitter.com/joetegtmeyer/status/1727046932793839725

Quote
Here is a close up of the Private Property signs and how you can no longer get up close to the Starships.


About time they did that, it's an ITAR manufacturing facility not Disneyland.

Offline Reynold

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Re: Visiting Boca Chica Space X Launch Site? Help please
« Reply #50 on: 02/11/2024 07:31 pm »
Going to be visiting Boca Chica from February 12-17, staying at the Rocket Ranch.  Looking for anyone interested in splitting a Redline sightseeing helicopter flight over SpaceX any day from the 13th through the 16th (note, it is supposed to be rainy later in the week).  With 2 of us it would be around $212 each.  If we are lucky maybe we can catch the WDR that may happen this week.

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