The Federal Aviation Administration has approved SpaceX’s proposal to develop the world’s first private commercial vertical launch site in Cameron County.
FAA on Wednesday issued its Record of Decision, a critical step that paves the way toward licensing launch activity at Boca Chica Beach.
Finding that the proposal by Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies would have unavoidable impacts on the environment, which would be mitigated, the Record of Decision explains why it approved the proposal and outlines SpaceX’s proposal.
It also identifies actions the FAA and other federal agencies must take, explains the alternatives analyzed and which one is environmentally preferred, and identifies the measures required for mitigation.
This latest clearance allows SpaceX to apply for licenses from the FAA to launch the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy orbital vertical launch rockets, which also could carry the Dragon capsule, and a variety of smaller, reusable sub-orbital launch vehicles from the Boca Chica site.
“I am elated,” Cameron County Pct. 1 Commissioner Sofia Benavides said. “The whole region stands to gain.”
Leaders in communities in both Cameron County and Hidalgo County came together to support the project, she said.
“We have a ways to go, but at least Mr. Musk has gotten the green light from FAA,” Benavides said.
SpaceX proposes up to 12 launches a year through at least 2025, carrying payload to the International Space Station.

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