SAN BENITO, RGV – SpaceX is expected to begin monthly rocket launches from Boca Chica Beach in December of 2018, Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr., said at an event on Wednesday.
At a coffee morning event hosted by San Benito Chamber of Commerce, Treviño gave an update on the SpaceX commercial rocket launch pad and other developments in Cameron County.
Treviño said SpaceX, the aerospace manufacturer, remains on schedule and intends to avoid costly delays.
“The big drawing card obviously, keep your fingers crossed, is December of 2018. SpaceX is supposed to be launching its first rocket by that point,” Treviño said. “We’re in constant contact with them and they’re still on schedule. Obviously its not going to surprise me if we have some delays, but any delays that they have, costs them money.”
A monthly launch by SpaceX can create many economic opportunities for the Rio Grande Valley, Treviño said. Whether it’s public viewings of rocket launches or possibly expanding the aerospace industry in the region.
“They want to have one launch a month,” Treviño said. “Think of the impact that one launch a month is going to have on our community, and when I say community I’m talking about the Rio Grande Valley.
“Obviously, it’s a benefit to Brownsville, it’s a benefit to Cameron County, but it’s a benefit to our entire region. Who would have ever thought that we could potentially be the host of our space program? There’s different things going on with regards to that, even if it’s just the launching of satellites, that’s going to be a great boost to our economy and our community. If they end up expanding the project to other endeavors, even better.”
Treviño is confident SpaceX will meet their timeline of December 2018, but will understand if there’s any delays. Treviño said the county is building an amphitheater for public viewings of the rocket launches, which will be beneficial for both parties.
“We’re hoping to make sure that this is a win-win for everybody,” Treviño said. “Whatever we can do to assist SpaceX from our perspective, we’re trying to do that to make that the schedule remains on time, but SpaceX has been very aggressive there. They’ve got their own timeline and they’ve been pretty good about keeping it.”
Treviño said they had originally planned for a small amphitheater, but decided to make it bigger, from 1,100 seats to over 4,000 in capacity. The amphitheater would be used for public viewings of SpaceX rocket launches and other entertainment events.
“The original idea was to have viewings from there,” Treviño said. “When I got involved, I said well lets focus on a larger item, in other words, a larger use of it. Whether its music, a festival, plays or it could be rallies, I mean it could be anything. In my mind I’m thinking obviously music events, I think it will be great. In addition obviously to the viewings and if they do hit their target of once a month that amphitheater is going to be utilized quite a bit.”
The new amphitheater design would have a lawn area to add capacity, and it would give the region an opportunity host music events and musicians.
“We redesigned it so that we can host not necessarily seats, but it’ll be seating in a general area. Because in amphitheaters, you usually take your own chairs, you take your blanket, over 4,000 people,” Treviño said.
“The point there is by doing it that way first of all we’ll be able to host a lot more people, we’ll be able to host larger events. If you’re going to bring in a name act, whoever it might be, Santana for example, they’ll play a small facility two to three thousand people. Obviously in an amphitheater it’s a little bit different surrounding, but I think it gives us an opportunity.”
Treviño added along with the amphitheater, the county will build an eco-tourism center in Laguna Vista.
“We also as part of our venue that we’re going to utilize with the amphitheater we’re also going to be building a eco-tourism center in Laguna Vista in conjunction with the city over there,” Treviño said.
The Cameron County Judge briefly gave updates on other developments in South Padre Island, which included a new boat ramp, the renovations of the Isla Blanca park on the south side of SPI and the Edwin King Atwood Park on the north side.
“I believe we’re finished with the boat ramp; we’re close to being finished with regards to the expansion of that,” Treviño said.
“The E.K. Atwood Park on the north end of the island it was supposed to be done by June 30th, we’re hopeful that it’s going to be done next month. If you have not seen any of the plans for the Isla Blanca, it’s gonna be the nicest park on the Gulf Coast. In Galveston, Port A, nobody else is going to have a nicer park of the Gulf Coast.”
Credits to: Rio Grande Guardian