The Anticipation of the SpaceX launch brings crowds to Texas as people gather around the launch site in excitement for Elon Musk’s latest adventure. Isla Blanca Park is expected to see an uptick in spectators looking to catch a glimpse of the rocket that is expected to complete a test flight sometime over the weekend. The SpaceX launch site is located in Boca Chica, where Musk’s team designs, builds, and launches its rockets.
Starship SN8 is the latest starship to be tested, with the ultimate goal of being able to reach Mars in the near future. The rocket will hold up to 100 people and is seen as a vehicle for people to see space like never before. There have been five successful flights during the Starship program, including two in August and September of this year. In 2021, SpaceX expects that if everything goes according to plan, Starship will begin conducting orbital flights in 2021, with a potential flight to the moon tentatively scheduled for 2022.
The anticipated launch brings a set of challenges to the surrounding area, as road closures and flight restrictions have been put in place to make sure that the launch goes as smoothly as possible when it happens. The increase in tourism comes to the area as well, despite the rise in COVID-19 cases throughout Texas. On Friday, the state’s case numbers triggered additional restrictions that set restaurant capacities back from 75 to 50 percent and closed those classified as bars.
In 2023, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa contracted SpaceX to complete a project called #dearMoon, where he plans to take artists on a SpaceX flight around the moon in order to inspire new and creative art to promote peace around the world. This would be a six-day orbit, and the first known space flight to have civilians in such close proximity to the moon. The suborbital flights that Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic spacecraft along with SpaceX would be short-lived and last just a few minutes while costing somewhere around a quarter of a million dollars.
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