SpaceX on Thursday told the Valley Morning Star in an email that the company is cautious but “hopeful” about its chances to build a launch site on Boca Chica beach.
“Although Cameron County remains a finalist for the development of a commercial orbital launch complex, the decision will not be made until all technical and regulatory due diligence is complete.
“Following the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement, the FAA will issue a final Record of Decision (ROD). Pending the ROD, there would be several other criteria that will need to be met before SpaceX makes a decision,” SpaceX spokeswoman Hannah Post said.
“While the timing of some of these critical steps is not within SpaceX’s control, we are hopeful that these will be complete in the near future,” Post added.
The proposed site on Boca Chica beach continues to be the only preferred location for building the world’s first private commercial vertical launch site, according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s final environmental impact statement issued Wednesday and now available for public review.
The report mirrors the earlier draft environmental impact statement, which also found that other alternative sites are not feasible.
Elon Musk’s California-based Space Exploration Technologies hopes 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 suborbital launch vehicles, from Boca Chica carrying payload for the International Space Station.
SpaceX has proposed up to 12 launch operations a year through at least 2025.
During the next 30 days, a variety of federal agencies will have the opportunity to resolve differences, if any. This FAA’s issuance of its Record of Decision on the proposal would follow.
Check back with the Valley Morning Star throughout the day for SpaceX updates.
BY EMMA PEREZ-TREVIÑO, Valley Morning Star