South Padre Island, Texas The beaches at Isla Blanca Park are expected to be the place where hundreds of space enthusiasts and islanders go to witness a test launch across the water at SpaceX’s Starship facility in Boca Chica, Texas.

With the imminent launch of the Starship SN8, South Padre Island has found plenty of tourists walking the streets. A view of the SpaceX launch facility a few miles across the water.

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

Tourists like Eric and Tammy Patton traveled from Maryland and stayed for several days hoping to catch the SN8 model plane.

“When we heard about SpaceX and this amazing guy, Elon Musk, we absolutely loved him! It’s like, ‘I’m going to launch a rocket in three years’ it took one year! ” Eric Patton said.

“We were in California when [SpaceX] Tami Patton said. We were watching, and I was crying. I was so excited! ”

They don’t think they’re leaving South Padre Island.

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

Local stores and businesses miles away are seeing an increase in business from SpaceX settling in the city.

“Even in Brownsville, the surrounding areas … hotels … a lot of them are occupied by SpaceX employees,” Baxter said.

Baxter is a space city native who is now building life near an emerging spaceport.

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

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Anna Leeson works at a local store on Padre Boulevard called Calypso.

“People were saying this was only for retirees,” said Lyson. “I don’t think that is the case anymore. There are a lot of young people making their roots here to be a part of this.”

I have been uniquely influenced by SpaceX.

“I’m very proud to say that my husband works at SpaceX, that my husband works at SpaceX, and we’ve really moved from the Pennsylvania area to SPI to be part of this wonderful history in the making,” said Lyson. .

She said she considers this a good thing for businesses and community building, but, she said, not everyone is on board.

“There are some people who are not very happy that SpaceX is here, but at the same time there are a lot of people who are very excited,” said Lyson.

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