ISLAND PADRE SOUTH, Texas – The waterfront at Isla Blanca Park is expected to be the place where hundreds of space enthusiasts and islanders go to watch a test launch across the water at the Starship SpaceX facility in Boca Chica, Texas.
With the imminent launch of Starship SN8, South Padre Island has found many more tourists walking the streets. The view from SpaceX’s launch facility a few miles across the water.
“Everyone wants to see it happen,” said James Baxter, a native transplant from Houston and South Padre Island.
Tourists like Eric and Tammy Patton traveled from Maryland and have been waiting for days hoping to catch the SN8 prototype flying.
“When we heard about SpaceX and that amazing dude, Elon Musk, we were thrilled! It’s like, ‘I’m getting a rocket off in three years’ It took a year! “Eric Patton said.
“We were in California when [SpaceX] he did the last one, ”said Tammy Patton. “We were watching, and I was crying. I was so excited! ”
They don’t think they will leave South Padre Island.
“We have a place now for 30 days, and we’re looking for a flat,” said Eric Patton.
Local shops and businesses miles away are experiencing an increase in business as a result of SpaceX settling in town.
“Even in Brownsville, the surrounding areas … the hotels … a lot of them are occupied by SpaceX employees,” Baxter said.
Baxter is a native of Space City who is now building life near a space break.
“I grew up in Houston,” says Baxter. “We get to hear and feel the rumble every time the engine fires!”
Anna Lyson works in a local store on Padre Boulevard called Calypso.
“People said this was for retired people only,” said Lyson. “I don’t think that’s true anymore. There are many young generation rooting here to be a part of this. ”
SpaceX uniquely affects her.
“I’m very proud to say that my husband works for SpaceX, that my husband works for SpaceX, and we moved down from the Pennsylvania area to SPI to be part of this incredible history in its creation,” said Lyson.
She said she saw this as a good thing for businesses and community building, but she said, not everyone is involved.
“There are some people who were not happy with SpaceX coming in here, but at the same time so many people are really excited,” said Lyson.
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