South Padre Island is expected to be busy for the SpaceX Starship SN8 test launch

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – The shores of Isla Blanca Park are expected to be where hundreds of space enthusiasts and islanders will watch a test launch over the water at SpaceX’s Starship facility in Boca Chica, Texas.

With the launch of Starship SN8 teasingly imminent, South Padre Island has seen many more tourists on the streets. The view of the SpaceX launch facility just a few miles across the water.

“Everyone wants to see it happen,” said James Baxter, a Houston resident and South Padre Island transplant.

Tourists like Eric and Tammy Patton traveled from Maryland and stayed for days hoping to catch the SN8 prototype fly.

“When we heard about SpaceX and that wonderful guy, Elon Musk, we absolutely loved it! He says, “I’ll finish a missile in three years.” It took 1 year! Eric Patton said.

‘We were in California at the time [SpaceX] did the latter, ”said Tammy Patton. We watched and I cried. I was so excited! “

They don’t think they will leave South Padre Island.

“We’ve had a place for 30 days now, and we’re looking for an apartment,” said Eric Patton.

Local shops and businesses miles away are experiencing an increase in sales as SpaceX moves to the city.

“Even in Brownsville, surrounding areas … the hotels … many are inhabited by SpaceX employees,” said Baxter.

A resident of Space City, Baxter is now making a living near a burgeoning spaceport.

“I grew up in Houston,” said Baxter. “We hear and feel the rumble every time the engine fires!”

Anna Lyson works at Calypso, a local store on Padre Boulevard.

“People said this is only for retired people,” Lyson said. ‘I don’t think that’s the case anymore. There are many young generations making roots here to be a part of this. “

She is uniquely influenced by SpaceX.

“I am very proud to say that my husband works for SpaceX, my husband works for SpaceX, and that we actually moved from Pennsylvania to SPI to be a part of this great history in the making,” said Lyson.

She said she sees this as a good thing for business and community building, but she said not everyone is on board.

“Some people weren’t too happy with SpaceX coming in here, but at the same time, just as many people are very excited,” said Lyson.

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