Author Topic: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 2  (Read 379607 times)

Offline RocketmanUS

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 2
« Reply #40 on: 04/10/2013 09:39 pm »
I don't recall reading what kind of activity this beach gets. It doesn't exactly scream the Hamptons to me. Are we talking about hundreds of people, thousands, tens of thousand?


It doesnt matter.  The argument being made is that one persons liberty outways any corporation's desire to infringe that liberty.  Which is silly.  Reasonable mediation between conflicting desires should occur, and that is exactly what the local land use board will be doing. 
Thanks, but you're over-thinking my question. I'm just curious as to how many people we are taking about.


It may not be the Hamptons, but it's 1000 acres of beachfront within easy reach of Brownsville, population near 200k. Given the brutal summer heat down there, I can imagine it being a first resort on weekends for many Brownsville residents.

I have seen pictures, and I guarantee you if that beach/park were anywhere in the Northeast coastal area where I live, it would have thousands during summer weekends. And the summer heat in Brownsville is much, much worse.

But this whole debate is a bit overblown IMHO. SpaceX won't want to upset the locals, and even aerospace workers like their weekends off. I don't see how there are going to be many, if any, cases where SpaceX absolutely, positively has to launch on a summer weekend.
Yes it is also about the workers and their right to enjoy their weekends and holidays. They will most likely end up with friends in the area for those that are there just for the launches from SpaceX.

One of the big problems is who interprets a need to launch.
The other is , what percentage would that day be for a launch ( example what is the weather report chance a launch could take place ). So give on OK for launch on a weekend or more importantly a holiday only if there is a high percent chance the vehicle will be able to launch and it is important enough such as a life threatening NEA.

It's not like it's the ONLY beach in the area. Hell, South Padre Island (AKA Spring Break Central) is 5 miles away, and there are other beaches along that coast. You can also drive across the border to Matamoros and hit Bagdad beach.
That is not the point.
Some people don't like other beaches or have already made reservations to use part of the beach area and or have plans with other people.

Offline rcoppola

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 2
« Reply #41 on: 04/10/2013 09:45 pm »
I don't recall reading what kind of activity this beach gets. It doesn't exactly scream the Hamptons to me. Are we talking about hundreds of people, thousands, tens of thousand?


It doesnt matter.  The argument being made is that one persons liberty outways any corporation's desire to infringe that liberty.  Which is silly.  Reasonable mediation between conflicting desires should occur, and that is exactly what the local land use board will be doing. 
Thanks, but you're over-thinking my question. I'm just curious as to how many people we are taking about.


It may not be the Hamptons, but it's 1000 acres of beachfront within easy reach of Brownsville, population near 200k. Given the brutal summer heat down there, I can imagine it being a first resort on weekends for many Brownsville residents.

I have seen pictures, and I guarantee you if that beach/park were anywhere in the Northeast coastal area where I live, it would have thousands during summer weekends. And the summer heat in Brownsville is much, much worse.

But this whole debate is a bit overblown IMHO. SpaceX won't want to upset the locals, and even aerospace workers like their weekends off. I don't see how there are going to be many, if any, cases where SpaceX absolutely, positively has to launch on a summer weekend.
Thanks. Yeh, just trying to get a real world sense for what kind of activity is going on around the beaches in that area. I'm sure all parties have thought it through and it's all doable with some planning. Really just curious. That's all. Post launch parties on the beach will be most excellent.
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Offline docmordrid

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 2
« Reply #42 on: 04/10/2013 09:50 pm »
Reservations on the beach made with the local beach authority I presume? And they won't be coordinating with SpaceX? Please....

We in Michigan have all kinds of events that close beaches too, having >3,000 miles of coastline, and we somehow manage to muddle through it - often for more than a weekend, or week. So will Texas.

« Last Edit: 04/10/2013 09:53 pm by docmordrid »
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Offline Mark S

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 2
« Reply #43 on: 04/10/2013 09:59 pm »
This whole discussion about locals not wanting the beach closed seems off kilter. The locals, along with lots of SpaceX fans, will flock to the area for every launch, even if they can't access a portion of the beach. Those beaches will see more business and visitors than they ever have before. Any inconvenience caused by a beach closure would be more than offset by an increase in onlookers and tourists when the beach is not closed.

And don't forget that this development, should it go through, will create many new jobs in the area. The entire Rio Grande Valley area is developing rapidly, but most of the jobs are service and tourist type jobs. The local politicians and residents will be ecstatic to get an increase in their high-tech sector, along with the boost in service, retail, and tourist jobs that will follow.

Putting up with the occasional beach closure will be more than offset by increases in tourism and business associated with supporting a SpaceX launch site. Even the most dedicated beach lounger would admit that.

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Online llanitedave

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 2
« Reply #44 on: 04/12/2013 04:46 pm »
This whole discussion about locals not wanting the beach closed seems off kilter. The locals, along with lots of SpaceX fans, will flock to the area for every launch, even if they can't access a portion of the beach. Those beaches will see more business and visitors than they ever have before. Any inconvenience caused by a beach closure would be more than offset by an increase in onlookers and tourists when the beach is not closed.

And don't forget that this development, should it go through, will create many new jobs in the area. The entire Rio Grande Valley area is developing rapidly, but most of the jobs are service and tourist type jobs. The local politicians and residents will be ecstatic to get an increase in their high-tech sector, along with the boost in service, retail, and tourist jobs that will follow.

Putting up with the occasional beach closure will be more than offset by increases in tourism and business associated with supporting a SpaceX launch site. Even the most dedicated beach lounger would admit that.

Mark S.

I think this is true.  South Padre Island gets far more traffic than Boca Chica, and it's only a few miles farther from Brownsville, on better roads.  If Space X was proposing occasional closing of South Padre Island, there'd be huge outcry, but Boca Chica can handle the hit.

And launches will be easily visible from South Padre Island, so I think the tourism influx will be higher than whatever beach traffic is temporarily disrupted.
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Offline Syrinx

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 2
« Reply #45 on: 04/12/2013 05:41 pm »
I've never been to Boca Chica.  I've been two South Padre exactly twice.

Last time I went to South Padre was in the middle of summer 2011, mid-week.  Other than my family, the beach was empty as can be.  Every half hour or so a truck would drive by (yes, vehicles are allowed on the beach) but that's it.

I would expect Boca Chica to have significantly lower patronage.

Holidays and weekends are different stories, of course.  But even then I would not expect Boca Chica to be busy.

Offline Kabloona

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 2
« Reply #46 on: 04/12/2013 09:51 pm »
I've never been to Boca Chica.  I've been two South Padre exactly twice.

Last time I went to South Padre was in the middle of summer 2011, mid-week.  Other than my family, the beach was empty as can be.  Every half hour or so a truck would drive by (yes, vehicles are allowed on the beach) but that's it.

I would expect Boca Chica to have significantly lower patronage.

Holidays and weekends are different stories, of course.  But even then I would not expect Boca Chica to be busy.

Some of the reviewers on Trip Advisor say the Boca Chica beach *is* crowded on summer weekends and advise getting there early to get a spot. They say it's popular with the Brownsville locals.
« Last Edit: 04/12/2013 10:07 pm by Kabloona »

Online llanitedave

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 2
« Reply #47 on: 04/13/2013 03:02 am »
I've never been to Boca Chica.  I've been two South Padre exactly twice.

Last time I went to South Padre was in the middle of summer 2011, mid-week.  Other than my family, the beach was empty as can be.  Every half hour or so a truck would drive by (yes, vehicles are allowed on the beach) but that's it.

I would expect Boca Chica to have significantly lower patronage.

Holidays and weekends are different stories, of course.  But even then I would not expect Boca Chica to be busy.

Must have been the northern part of South Padre.  The southern end, closest to Boca Chica, is where all the big resorts and Marinas are, and whenever I've been down there in the summer (admittedly not for a number of years now, but I can't imagine it becoming less crowded) it's been pretty busy.
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Offline Syrinx

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 2
« Reply #48 on: 04/13/2013 05:22 am »
I've never been to Boca Chica.  I've been two South Padre exactly twice.

Last time I went to South Padre was in the middle of summer 2011, mid-week.  Other than my family, the beach was empty as can be.  Every half hour or so a truck would drive by (yes, vehicles are allowed on the beach) but that's it.

I would expect Boca Chica to have significantly lower patronage.

Holidays and weekends are different stories, of course.  But even then I would not expect Boca Chica to be busy.

Must have been the northern part of South Padre.  The southern end, closest to Boca Chica, is where all the big resorts and Marinas are, and whenever I've been down there in the summer (admittedly not for a number of years now, but I can't imagine it becoming less crowded) it's been pretty busy.

I don't know the area well enough to delineate north South Padre from south South Padre.  But we were not far from the hotels and shops.  We were staying in one of the major South Padre hotels.  We did drive north up the coast a bit though.


Offline Lars_J

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 2
« Reply #50 on: 04/15/2013 11:53 pm »
Very interesting reading... some interesting maps/diagrams included.

Offline GBpatsfan

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 2
« Reply #51 on: 04/16/2013 12:00 am »
Quote
the proposed location in southern Texas was identified by SpaceX as the only viable location for SpaceX to construct and operate its commercial Falcon vehicles
Page 1-5

Offline billh

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 2
« Reply #52 on: 04/16/2013 12:09 am »
I've never been to Boca Chica.  I've been two South Padre exactly twice.

Last time I went to South Padre was in the middle of summer 2011, mid-week.  Other than my family, the beach was empty as can be.  Every half hour or so a truck would drive by (yes, vehicles are allowed on the beach) but that's it.

I would expect Boca Chica to have significantly lower patronage.

Holidays and weekends are different stories, of course.  But even then I would not expect Boca Chica to be busy.

Must have been the northern part of South Padre.  The southern end, closest to Boca Chica, is where all the big resorts and Marinas are, and whenever I've been down there in the summer (admittedly not for a number of years now, but I can't imagine it becoming less crowded) it's been pretty busy.

I don't know the area well enough to delineate north South Padre from south South Padre.  But we were not far from the hotels and shops.  We were staying in one of the major South Padre hotels.  We did drive north up the coast a bit though.

Padre Island is a very long barrier island (over 100 miles long). Sometimes  the name "South Padre Island" is used to refer to the southern portion of the island (especially, the portion below channel that divides it in two at Port Mansfield). But "South Padre Island" is also the name of a resort town at the southern tip of the island. Once you go north of town the island is sparsely populated, if at all, and the beach goes on for miles and miles.

Offline deltaV

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 2
« Reply #53 on: 04/16/2013 12:22 am »
Draft EIS, April 2013

"the FAA has determined that the Proposed Action may affect, is likely to adversely affect the piping plover and its critical habitat, the northern aplomado falcon, the jaguarundi and ocelot, and sea turtles. The Proposed Action may affect, is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian manatee."

"It is estimated the proposed vertical launch and control center areas would have a total maximum electrical load of 3,000 kilowatts per hour [sic]."
« Last Edit: 04/16/2013 12:22 am by deltaV »

Offline deltaV

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 2
« Reply #54 on: 04/16/2013 12:32 am »
Quote
the proposed location in southern Texas was identified by SpaceX as the only viable location for SpaceX to construct and operate its commercial Falcon vehicles
Page 1-5
Section 2.3 discusses alternatives. It mentions Peurto Rico and Florida as rejected alternatives but not Georgia. Peurto Rico was rejected due to transport difficulties. Florida was rejected because they don't want to be in CCAFS and other areas are too densely populated. It looks to me that this text is designed to excuse the environmental damage by making it look like there's no alternative rather than actually explaining SpaceX's reasoning.
« Last Edit: 04/16/2013 12:33 am by deltaV »

Offline rcoppola

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 2
« Reply #55 on: 04/16/2013 12:56 am »
I just read and then skimmed through a good part of that EIS. Impressive on a number of levels, but... 350 Pages? My god. It's a wonder anything gets built these days. And that's just for a launch site on 20+ acres used out of 50+ purchased, not including the Control center?

It's a postage stamp piece of land. 350 pages? I wonder how many pages it would have taken in today's EIS for KSC back in the day. Hell, we'd still be waiting to get approval to build the VAB let alone having launched anything.
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Offline deltaV

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 2
« Reply #56 on: 04/16/2013 01:02 am »
There's quite a bit of info on propellant capacities and so on in this document. Here's one interesting bit:

Quote
2.1.1.9 Recovery Efforts

First Stage
After a launch, the first stage of the Falcon 9 would land in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 550 miles downrange, and would potentially be recovered by a salvage ship. The salvage ship would locate the first stage through telemetry signals from the stage. The recovered first stage would be returned to SpaceX facilities in Hawthorne, California. If the expended first stage could not be located, it would likely be due to damage. It would subsequently sink, and therefore it would not be recovered.

Second Stage
The second stage would go into orbit with the payload. It would be left in orbit and safed per FAA regulations (14 CFR Part 417.129), such as venting the vehicle and ensuring that the batteries would discharge.

Offline ChileVerde

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 2
« Reply #57 on: 04/16/2013 01:48 am »
Sorry, I failed post the following bit on an upcoming EIS meeting in Brownsville.  I'll be attending the meeting, the fates willing.

Quote
https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/environmental/nepa_docs/review/documents_progress/spacex_texas_launch_site_environmental_impact_statement/

Public Hearing on Draft EIS

The FAA is holding a public hearing to obtain comments on the Draft EIS from the public. The hearing will be held on May 7, 2013 from 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at the International Technology Education and Commerce Center in Brownsville, Texas.

The public hearing will include a poster information session from 5:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m., an FAA presentation from 6:00 p.m.- 6:15 p.m., followed by a public statement period in which members of the public may provide up to a 3-minute statement. The FAA will transcribe all oral comments. All comments received during the comment period will be given equal weight and be taken into consideration in the preparation of the Final EIS.

Public Comments on the Draft EIS

The FAA encourages all interested parties to provide comments concerning the scope and content of the Draft EIS.

The public comment period for the Draft EIS closes on June 3, 2013. Interested parties can submit comments on the Draft EIS in one of the following ways:

    Email comments to [email protected]
    Fax comments to (410) 990-0455
    Provide oral or written comments at the Draft EIS Public Hearing (date and location provided above)
    Mail comments to:
    Ms. Stacy M. Zee
    FAA Environmental Protection Specialist
    SpaceX EIS c/o Cardno TEC, Inc.
    275 West Street, Suite 110
    Annapolis, MD 21409
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Offline Lars_J

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 2
« Reply #58 on: 04/16/2013 01:56 am »
There's quite a bit of info on propellant capacities and so on in this document. Here's one interesting bit:

Quote
2.1.1.9 Recovery Efforts

First Stage
After a launch, the first stage of the Falcon 9 would land in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 550 miles downrange, and would potentially be recovered by a salvage ship. The salvage ship would locate the first stage through telemetry signals from the stage. The recovered first stage would be returned to SpaceX facilities in Hawthorne, California. If the expended first stage could not be located, it would likely be due to damage. It would subsequently sink, and therefore it would not be recovered.

Second Stage
The second stage would go into orbit with the payload. It would be left in orbit and safed per FAA regulations (14 CFR Part 417.129), such as venting the vehicle and ensuring that the batteries would discharge.

That all seems to be F9v1.0 related - not up to date with the boost-back plans for the first stage.

Offline ChileVerde

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 2
« Reply #59 on: 04/16/2013 02:30 am »
Once you go north of town the island is sparsely populated, if at all, and the beach goes on for miles and miles.

<OT>
So sparsely populated that it sports one of Texas' extremely rare nude beaches.
</OT>
"I canít tell you which asteroid, but there will be one in 2025," Bolden asserted.

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