Texas Residents Get ‘Explosion Warning’ From Police
Last night in the tiny South Texas town of Boca Chica Village, the sheriff was going door to door with an ominous warning: There were about to be some very scary and possibly dangerous explosions nearby.
Business Insider reports that there are only around 20 homes in this village, but the area nearby had become very popular in recent years with Elon Musk. You may know the eccentric billionaire industrial maverick behind electric car company Tesla, but he also heads up an honest-to-goodness spaceship company called SpaceX.
Since 2014, Musk has been building what he calls, the "worlds first commercial spaceport" in the quiet Texas town. The site was chosen because it is the southernmost point in the U.S., and closest to the equator. Launching from there reduces the amount of thrust needed to put a rocket into orbit.
Thus far, the site has been a testing ground for the next generation of Spacex rockets - including a Mars rocket prototype called the Starhopper. The printed flyers Cameron County Sheriffs were handing out warned of an "Overpressure Event" scheduled for Monday afternoon at 4 that could break windows and cause injuries - and it isn't the first time residents have received this type warning.
The last test launch of the Starhopper in July not only terrified the residents, but the ensuing fireball reportedly torched nearly 100 acres of a coastal wildlife refuge, and thousands of acres surrounding the town.
According to SpaceX, tomorrow evening's event is the last test of the Starhopper - but not the last of the residents headaches. The plan is to incorporate the engine and fuel tanks from this project into the even bigger "Starship Mk1" project that will have 3 times the power, potentially producing a much larger "Overpressure Event." The Starship project will also launch from the Boca Chica site.