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SpaceX Wins FAA Permission To Build a Spaceport In Texas

samzenpus posted about 1 month ago | from the go-ahead-and-build dept.

Space 80

Jason Koebler writes SpaceX just got approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to build a 56.5-acre spaceport along the Gulf of Mexico on the Texas-Mexico border—a huge step toward actually making the spaceport a reality. Wednesday, the FAA, which handles all commercial space launch permitting in the United States, issued what's known as a "Record of Decision" that suggests the agency would allow the company to launch 10 Falcon 9 rockets and two Falcon Heavy rockets per year out of the spaceport, through at least 2025.

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Horray (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47428383)

Horray for Mars Crossing!
Should be a good spot to start flying serious rockets.

Re:Horray (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47429981)

"horray"?

But, But, But (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47428387)

We got aliens there already! We don't need no more!

Please no be racist!!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47428663)

I come to the /. every day be cause I want to learn technologys and computers and internets. But every day I see the racist here! I am from Bangalore so maybe you think I do not care about the Mexican but I do! Mexican just want freedom and happy that is why Mexican move to United Stateses of Americas. You not hate Mexican just be cause he want to be the citizen American! Like all man the Mexican want house and car and school for children. That is way of the America! But why deny him that of which he is wanting? You not realize how hard move to new country is. You leave behind friends and families and your foods and your hole way of life! There is no pain more greater than loss of native home! Mexican make big journey and Mexican pay big pain so Mexican can be American and the dream of the Americas he live! But you hate him why? Because he is of brown skin? Well I am of brown skin and I know the pain of the hate of the racisms! Please my friend just say the NO NO NO to racist! Racist is hurt and racist is pain! We are all wanters of the things that are loving like house and car and school from childrens. Hate not because of the Mexico desire for America life. Mexico America India all one and same when it is the people at which you are looking! We want same things! Hate us do not! Hate us do not! The free dom I want is the free dom that you want and the free dom that the man from the Mexico want. Hate not us for hate us then you hate on the Americas itself! Say no more racist and say no more hate and say no more racist! No more racist at the /.!

Go kiss a Paki. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47428825)

Go kiss a Paki. What? What's that? You don't like Pakis? How come? You are a racist.

Re:Please no be racist!!!! (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 1 month ago | (#47428861)

People from Maine sure write funny.

Re:Please no be racist!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47428863)

It has nothing to do with race. How can you claim to love and want to join a country while you shit all over it's laws? Illegal aliens are criminals and should be treated as such, regardless of race. Want to come to the US? Do it the legal way.

Re:Please no be racist!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47429111)

I come to the /. every day be cause I want to learn technologys and computers and internets. But every day I see the racist here! I am from Bangalore ... yada yada yada ... [says the hardcore practicing racist doing the power grabbing "I'm not a racist" yammer]

I agree. To start, this hypocritical talking the talk but not walking the walk from these self righteous indignant bigoted slave owning management families is getting real old. The U.S. needs to quit being enablers of India's power caste from being able to keep the overwhelming majority of their people entrench in abject poverty.

For the uninformed naive, the Indian ruling class considers Americans members of the "Untouchable" class. Get rid of one sided dual citizenship or demanding immediate reciprocity. Create an investment by incentivizing a commitment in the everyone's society.

Re:Please be racist!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47435369)

You amuse me. Most Mexicans don't want to emigrate to America. They like living in their country. Now Guatemalans, Nicaraguans and Hondurans, they do want to but not for the reason you think. This isn't the 1850s and the great irish influx.
These people don't want to: Learn english
Learn our culture and give up theirs
Give up their flag
Embrace our ideas and our way of doing things.
What they really want is their country to be as wealthy as ours and them to be on the same level as us. Since their country's leaders have no interest in bettering their cities or places and are willing to do things our way (capitalist, fuck over everyone for money way they we honestly run everything) they feel they are trapped. So they sell their soul to come here. Not in the hope of becoming American. But in the hope of bring their country here with them so they can keep everything and get access to what we have built. Then they sent all that money back to their family.
That isn't immigration. Its what the Visigoths did to Rome. Only slower. All they want is our services. When we demand they learn our language, they have a fit. We we demand they follow our rules, they have a fit. So no its isn't racist. The most honest thing about life is you DON"T Get access to the nice things without working for them. If you were born on the otherside of the planet and you manage to come here to be here and Be American. Go for you. We no more don't want people overrunning us than you want want Muslims destroying Hindu holy sites or Atheists slathering pig grease on the floor of a mosque. Not everyone can have it for free when it a finite resource.

Spaceport along the Gulf of Mexico (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 1 month ago | (#47428409)

Spaceport along the Gulf of Mexico on the Texas-Mexico border...

Rockets with Taco Bell sponsorships?

Re:Spaceport along the Gulf of Mexico (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 1 month ago | (#47428447)

Why didn't I think of that.... penal colony for illegal immigrants involving long term imprisonment and hard labor.

Instead of returning them home, send them on a one-way trip to mars or the moon.

Re:Spaceport along the Gulf of Mexico (1)

ultranova (717540) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434993)

Why didn't I think of that.... penal colony for illegal immigrants involving long term imprisonment and hard labor.

Does a private prison company gaining sentience and posting on Slashdot count as AI, some kind of group mind or just a regular evil overlord?

Obligatory Demolition Man Reference (1)

AMCandel (1116349) | about 1 month ago | (#47428835)

After the Space Wars(tm), all Space Ports are now Taco Bell...

This might start giving them ideas. (1)

Chas (5144) | about 1 month ago | (#47429147)

Burrito-fueled rockets to get illegals in across the border.

Re:Spaceport along the Gulf of Mexico (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 1 month ago | (#47429237)

It's nice you vomited the first thing you thought of onto the page, but you won't find anything even vaguely resembling Taco Bell in Mexico. Did you really think that? Sad.

Re:Spaceport along the Gulf of Mexico (1)

pslytely psycho (1699190) | about 1 month ago | (#47429343)

Spaceport is in Texas, on the Gulf of Mexico.
Solidly in the U.S.
Lots of Taco Bells.

Re:Taco Bell Rockets.... (1)

pslytely psycho (1699190) | about 1 month ago | (#47429323)

Why not?

Pizza Hut did it back in 2000.

http://www.spacedaily.com/images/proton-pizza-bg.jpg

Re:Spaceport along the Gulf of Mexico (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47432349)

Rockets with Taco Bell sponsorships?

Taco Bell? You mean that California based Pepsi owned fast food chain? We've got a few of them in Texas, but they don't have any Mexican food that I've ever seen. And their hottest "hot sauce" tastes like salt and vinegar with no heat at all.

The space port is in Texas, because getting it as far south as possible reduces the delta-G you need as much as possible. This location is the most southern point in the continental US.

Re:Spaceport along the Gulf of Mexico (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a month and a half ago | (#47432845)

Taco Smell is a Yum foods brand. Owned by the Japanese.

Yum Foods brands are universally the worst in their class. Yum brands: Kentucky Fried Rat, Taco Hell, A&W, Booger King, Pizza Hut and Arby's. Nothing that can be fairly called 'food' served at any of them.

I used to occasionally eat a taco bell taco. Didn't think it was good, but it was a childhood memory/comfort food in a weird way. Then I fed my dogs a couple of cans of Old Roy brand beef canned dog food and immediately headed for Taco Bell. When I got there I was hit in the face by the smell of Old Roy brand beef canned dog food. Haven't touched it sense.

Re:Spaceport along the Gulf of Mexico (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47435057)

I used to occasionally eat a taco bell taco. Didn't think it was good, but it was a childhood memory/comfort food in a weird way. Then I fed my dogs a couple of cans of Old Roy brand beef canned dog food and immediately headed for Taco Bell. When I got there I was hit in the face by the smell of Old Roy brand beef canned dog food. Haven't touched it sense.

That reminded me of the time I learned decades ago that Jack in the Box was owned by Ralston Purina, Inc. -- the same makers of Purina Dog Chow.

There has been some M&A's since (nestle), but it's still well connected. At the time, they used to proudly display their famed checkerboard square trademark within the franchise's name.

The aspersion of the time was to call it: People Chow. Why else would you like chasing cars and urinating on tires.

Say what? (0, Offtopic)

djupedal (584558) | about 1 month ago | (#47428475)

Is this what that $2.3billion request for immigration is all about...we're going to shoot illegals into space rather than back to where ever they sneak in from?

Re:Say what? (5, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 1 month ago | (#47428565)

We are required by law to deport illegal aliens to their point of origin.

Further information on this subject is classified.

Re:Say what? (1)

krashnburn200 (1031132) | about 1 month ago | (#47428631)

Hilarious, and here my mod points just expired...

Re:Say what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47428585)

Just dump their worthless asses in the sea and let the sharks kill them.

Re:Say what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47430561)

I crack up at people who whine about "illegal immigrants", as if the pussy you fell out of should give you special entitlement to work in a particular area. The bigger leech on a society is not the one who came in as an adult, but the one who took 18 years' worth of education and protection from the society before he became able to offer anything back.

Let's face it: people who whine about immigration are mediocre performers, scared that people better than them but slightly more brown will take their jerb. And I laugh in your weak faces, ya hill-billy pussies.

better map link (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about 1 month ago | (#47428477)

If you can't read the scaled-down map reproduced from the report in the linked blog post, you can either look on p. 54 of the PDF, or else here's the site on OpenStreetMap [openstreetmap.org] . It appears it's not just that they're being given permission for the launches, but also that they're being given use of the land: the approved launch site is Texas state-owned land in Boca Chica State Park, which they'll be allowed to construct a facility on, and use for a certain number of days/year.

Re:better map link (2)

sycodon (149926) | about 1 month ago | (#47428541)

Now it's just 5 years of environmental studies, lawsuits and billion dollar "mitigation" measures.

Re:better map link (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47428901)

It's Texas. They'll be breaking ground next month.

Re:better map link (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 1 month ago | (#47429017)

Oh fvck yes.

Midland (Tx) is awaiting FAA Spaceport approval after shoveling some ED money and incentives at SpaceX...

There will be no intentional delay. They're on it, doggone it.

Re:better map link (1)

Loki_1929 (550940) | about 1 month ago | (#47429379)

It's Texas, they broke ground three weeks ago.

FAA? Never heard of 'em.

Re:better map link (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47429039)

Really, that is what has just been completed. There is a long section on mitigation (i.e. enforcement of policy prohibiting speeding; signs to be put up).

I don't know if it took five years. It seems more like two.

Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47428491)

What a perfect place to contact aliens.

Why a new one? (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | about 1 month ago | (#47428567)

Isn't there one near the Mexico border in NM that already exists?

Re:Why a new one? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47428637)

South Padre Island is much farther south than the Spaceport in NM, which gives a significant velocity boost and thus less fuel to get into orbit. It also means launching over ocean which has less liability concerns than launching over land (even if it's mostly open desert). I don't know of anyone who has any plans to use the Spaceport for orbital launches, just straight up & down sub-orbital flights and testing.

Ideal location (1)

amightywind (691887) | about 1 month ago | (#47428615)

There should be no shortage labor to do the landscaping. Perhaps Musk should ask Obama for a contract to launch them back to Guatamala.

I can see the movie now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47428701)

Machete in Space!!

Re:I can see the movie now... (1)

rioki (1328185) | about a month and a half ago | (#47429937)

Now THAT sounds like an awesome movie.

turbo-skeet shooting Texas style (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 1 month ago | (#47428711)

PULL!

Re:turbo-skeet shooting Texas style (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47428767)

Another good thing is that they'll have an endless supply of very cheap labor!

One word: CompUSA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47428719)

Bring it back and watch everything just work out. American enterprise-retail at its best.

Hope their hull is bulletproof. (5, Interesting)

retech (1228598) | about 1 month ago | (#47428805)

Took a job in Brownsville. Left Detroit. Flew down there. In the course of 6 months... The university campus was closed because of a cartel fight that saw bullets crossing the border and hitting classrooms. The daily headcount of dumped bodies (on either side) was greater than Detroit's. Crossed, over to go out to eat. The building across the street had two grenades lobbed into it while we ate. Mind you, this was less than .5 miles from Brownsville.

The area that they want to build (actually have been building for a while now) is flooded during spring break with high school and university kids. It's cheap, beach, and poorly patrolled. If you work for them, you'll have to live in Brownsville and deal with the beach crap for 6 weeks a year.

I really cannot think of a less desirable location to build this "space port".

Re:Hope their hull is bulletproof. (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 1 month ago | (#47429033)

The Mexicans involved in the trafficking of illegal narcotics are very careful to tread lightly North of the Rio Grande.

They can buy Mexico.

Angering the gueros is bad for business.

Re:Hope their hull is bulletproof. (3, Informative)

retech (1228598) | about 1 month ago | (#47429071)

Used to. The published numbers just do not show the reality. Between friends and family in B-ville and McAllen and knowing the number of shootings and car bombings they've witnessed, not one of them get's to the news. Hell, at my job down there, (worked for the state) we were told to NOT post any stuff on social media like: "OMG there was a shooting outside the mall today." One morning there was a shootout at the mall, 3 ppl hit. I thought surely this would make the news. Not a word of it anywhere.

Re:Hope their hull is bulletproof. (1)

strack (1051390) | about 1 month ago | (#47429359)

Hey man, if you know of another place in the contiguous United States at the lowest possible latitude with only ocean in the direction you want to launch rockets, and no other launch sites to work your own launch schedule around, let us know.

Re: Hope their hull is bulletproof. (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a month and a half ago | (#47430297)

The Maldives. ;)

Re:Hope their hull is bulletproof. (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 1 month ago | (#47429411)

Do you REALLY think they just drew the name Brownsville out of a hat? And then decided to locate there? WTF? You're talking about it like it's some kind of voluntary choice. Please tell me you're not that stupid.

Look at a map of America. Brownsville is at the southern tip. Being as far south as possible as advantageous for putting satellites into orbit. Why do you think Cape Canaveral is located where it is?

Re:Hope their hull is bulletproof. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47431753)

If south was the important goal, why not Puerto Rico or Hawaii?

About the Cape (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47431893)

Cape Canaveral was a disease ridden undeveloped swamp before the AF and NASA moved there. South was good, very cheap land was better, lobbying in Congress to bring the space program to Florida was really the driver.

Realistically, the advantage of a few degrees of latitude isn't huge in the context of big rockets. You just get a bit less payload to orbit if you go farther north. A bigger issue is putting dangerous things like exploding rockets and fuels like Hydrazine, Fuming Nitric Acid, etc. far, far away from population centers, preferably with low land costs.

Re:Hope their hull is bulletproof. (1)

Wizel603 (1367631) | about 1 month ago | (#47429521)

I really cannot think of a less desirable location to build this "space port".

Mos Eisley

Re:Hope their hull is bulletproof. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47430603)

So, you are complaining about having, for six weeks, young woman in the beach with almost no clothing, intoxicated and looking to have fun? Men.. your life is miserable.

Oh, and if you think Detroit is safer than Brownsville, I have a bridge to sell to you.. (to the South Padre Island, to make the joke local)

Re:Hope their hull is bulletproof. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a month and a half ago | (#47432865)

Another geek who never actually went to spring break and gets his information from movies.

Spring break beaches typically have terrible ratios. Sausage fest of drunken frat boys, puking all over themselves.

Re:Hope their hull is bulletproof. (1)

david_thornley (598059) | about a month and a half ago | (#47433121)

So you're saying I didn't really miss out on anything by not going South for spring break? Good to know.

Re:Hope their hull is bulletproof. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a month and a half ago | (#47433403)

Unless you like drinking till you puke all over yourself you didn't miss anything.

Why only 12 rockets per year? (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about 1 month ago | (#47428847)

That seems completely arbitrary.

Re:Why only 12 rockets per year? (1)

rioki (1328185) | about a month and a half ago | (#47429947)

Probably some haphazard environmental impact study. But once SpaceX has the foot in the door and a need to launch more, it probably can be arranged to higher limits. If they can lay pipelines through a Alaskan wildlife preserve, they can launch more rockets from a national park in Texas.

Re:Why only 12 rockets per year? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47429983)

"haphazard"? This word means "lacking any obvious principle of organization.". Um, you have any evidence for this?

Re: Why only 12 rockets per year? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47430091)

You must be new here. See, there's a certain kind of person who thinks that any attempt to protect the environment from things like toxic chemicals is inherently un-American. They believe that one should be able to do whatever with no regard to the costs imposed on others for cleanup, loss of use, diseases etc. (Not to mention the occasional extinction or two). Sadly, this particular malady is often accompanied by a belief that one's tax dollars should never benefit another, even though that's exactly what happens when one pushes off an environmental mess on others. Logic has never been a strong point with such folks I'm afraid.

Re: Why only 12 rockets per year? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47430465)

And there are others who use "environmentalism" to try to crush any human activity no mater how benign and/or beneficial it is. Oil pipelines & coal plants are one thing, but I've seen cases of wind farms & parks fought against for "environmental" reasons.

Re:Why only 12 rockets per year? (1)

rioki (1328185) | about a month and a half ago | (#47464801)

They are building a spaceport in the middle of a national park! Either it is a nature preserve or it is not one. Although I don't count myself to the environmentalist camp, but I see the ideas behind national parks. But in many cases the environmental impact studies are educated guess at best. The 12 rockets limit seems fairly arbitrary and more along the lines of projected SpaceX use of the facility and less on the environmental impact tolerances.

Re:Why only 12 rockets per year? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a month and a half ago | (#47430175)

That seems completely arbitrary.

It'll put a dampener on their July the 4th celebrations - oh sorry March 2nd - it's Texas.

Mexico (0)

BradMajors (995624) | about 1 month ago | (#47428857)

Did they bother to get Mexico's permission to operate this spaceport so close to the Mexican border?

Re:Mexico (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 1 month ago | (#47428877)

Borders are binary and there are already treaties/conventions in place regarding airspace.

For example, Spain would love to close Gebralter's airport. But the rules only let them be a huge pain in the ass.

In other words, why should we?

Re:Mexico (1)

Issarlk (1429361) | about 1 month ago | (#47429585)

Why would the cartels disaprove anyway? They could even abduct a few engineers to develop their own rocket delivery of drugs into the USA.

huh... (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 1 month ago | (#47429161)

Seems kind of small. I would have expected a space port to be high hundreds to thousands of acres to buffer in case there was some disaster... not a measely 57 acres... A lot of high schoolers could run across it diagonally in about two minutes.

But I don't know much about the requirements for spaceports.

Re:huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47429317)

And more buffer space is even more important considering the number of the guns in Texas. They really should build it in a state where 50 caliber rifles are not legal. A single hit to a liquid fueled rocket would destroy it. Helicopters landing on the office building where I work in CA have been hit by guns several times, and this is in a state where most of the worst weapons are not allowed. Business really should move out of Texas to protect their employees.

Re:huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47430853)

you are an idiot. that is all

Re:huh... (1)

Megane (129182) | about a month and a half ago | (#47430301)

Or you could look for it on a map and see that it's surrounded by mostly wildlife areas and state parks and water, not unlike a certain place in Florida. It's not like they're planning to launch from some industrial park on the edge of town.

Name your spaceport (4, Funny)

Trogre (513942) | about 1 month ago | (#47429305)

I vote Mos Eisley.

After all, where else would one find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy, outside of Washington that is...

"space" port! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47429505)

oh the hubris! Does the rest of the Galaxy know about this? Are they ready?

Re:"space" port! (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a month and a half ago | (#47430167)

oh the hubris! Does the rest of the Galaxy know about this? Are they ready?

They're boycotting it because it doesn't sign up to the Andromeda and District port worker's labor union.

I heared you're opening a spaceport... (1)

2fuf (993808) | about a month and a half ago | (#47430061)

If you're looking for astronauts just let me know.
I might consider it.

Re:I heared you're opening a spaceport... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47430163)

Why? A monkey could do it in the '60s and our automation is much better today.

Re:I heared you're opening a spaceport... (1)

Megane (129182) | about a month and a half ago | (#47430319)

NASA has plenty of already-trained astronauts who don't have much chance of going up, whether or not they've already gone up yet. They're getting hired by the NewSpace companies. It's not like they're looking for H1Bs to be astronauts.

Re:I heared you're opening a spaceport... (1)

2fuf (993808) | about a month and a half ago | (#47430351)

here's an astronomical whooooosh for you, sir

2 Elon Musk posts in 1 day? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a month and a half ago | (#47430223)

Shall we declare a national holiday? Parades?

Re:2 Elon Musk posts in 1 day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47430259)

Well, we could always discuss the comparative advancements to human future done by their billions by Elon Musk and Steve Ballmer.

One is shaking the very foundations of three key industries and another bought a bunch of sweaty guys bouncing a ball around...

Only 56.5 acres? (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about a month and a half ago | (#47430619)

I'd think you'd want a lot more land for a spaceport. Sometimes rocket fall down, go boom.

(For the more cosmopolitan of us, Washington Square Park is just under ten acres.)

.

Re:Only 56.5 acres? (1)

Cid Highwind (9258) | about a month and a half ago | (#47431281)

Only 56.5 acres on land, but 395 million acres downrange [wolframalpha.com] .

Re:Only 56.5 acres? (1)

david_thornley (598059) | about a month and a half ago | (#47433147)

Thing is, the plan is to bring the first stage back in and land it on the launch pad. That makes the 395 million acres less relevant.

Re:Only 56.5 acres? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a month and a half ago | (#47434095)

Not the launch pad. If launching from Texas they will land the first stage somewhere in the neighborhood of Florida.

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