South Texas sees increase in tourism
The Anticipation of the SpaceX launch brings crowds to South Texas as people gather near the launch site in excitement for Elon Musk’s latest innovation. Isla Blanca Park expects to see an increase in spectators looking to catch a glimpse of the rocket completing a test flight sometime over the weekend. The SpaceX launch site, located in Boca Chica, Texas, is where Musk’s team designs, builds, and launches its spacecrafts.
Starship SN8 is the latest rocket to have a test flight scheduled, with the ultimate goal of being able to reach Mars soon. It will hold up to 100 people and is 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 trip 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 are put in place to ensure the launch goes smoothly. The increase in tourism comes 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 to inspire new and creative art to promote peace around the world. That would be a six-day orbit and the first known space flight to have civilians close 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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