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The launch site of Boca Chica receives a huge rocket fuel tank



The latest signs of activity at SpaceX's future launch site at Boca Chica Beach brought a 95,000 gallon liquid oxygen tank to the construction site via a flatbed trailer on Wednesday afternoon

The massive "LOX" tank that can hold nearly as much like 20 tanker trucks, will be fully installed later this year.

SpaceX spokesman Sean Pitt said it points to the company's continued progress in developing the Boca Chica site 24 miles east of Brownsville.

"Delivering a The new liquid oxygen tank used to support propellant operations during takeoff and vehicle trials represents the latest major part of the launch hardware to reach the installation site," he said.

In February, SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk said that short hopper flights of the company's Big Falcon Rocket spacecraft are expected to take place next year in Boca Chica.

SpaceX focuses on developing the BFR to bring the first humans to Mars, Musk's ultimate goal, although it had originally planned to develop the smaller Falcon Heavy missiles for this purpose. The BFR missile / spacecraft system is being built in a SpaceX facility in the Port of Los Angeles. According to the Los Angeles Times, it is expected to be fully assembled.

SpaceX is headquartered in Hawthorne, California with launch facilities in California and Florida and a rocket engine in McGregor, Texas. 1

9659004] Last October, SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell described Boca Chica as "a perfect location for BFR". During a groundbreaking ceremony in September 2014, Musk said, "It could be very good that the first person on the way another planet could leave this place."

Rep. René Oliveira, D-Brownsville Commenting on SpaceX's application to the Texas Spaceport Trust Fund for Infrastructure Development Funds, in February said that the company's intentions for Boca Chica "went far beyond the original plan."

To date, SpaceX has more than 600 kilowatts of solar power installed at the site, plus two 86-ton ground station antenna crew tracking aircraft flights to the International Space Station aboard Dragon's reusable spacecraft. Early estimates had the first launch in 2016, though several delays pushed it back. SpaceX now plans to have Boca Chica operational by the end of 2018.

In 2008, the company's Falcon 1 was the first privately-developed liquid rocket to enter orbit. SpaceX's Dragon Spacecraft was the first privately built and operated spacecraft to be recovered from orbit during its maiden flight in 2010.

In 2012, another version of the Dragon was docked as the first private spacecraft to the International Space Station. In December 2015, SpaceX made another historic premiere by bringing a reusable Falcon 9 rocket into orbit and then returning it to the launch pad in a controlled vertical landing.

In April 2016, Falcon 9 landed on its fifth attempt on its drone ship, which of course is called "I still love you," off the coast of Florida, after a Dragon Robot spaceship was launched into orbit. Scientific American characterized it as "a dramatic masterpiece of engineering."

Last February, SpaceX celebrated the successful maiden launch of the Falcon Heavy, the world's most powerful rocket, and the controlled return of two of its three reusable boosters to Earth Rockets

sklark@brownsvilleherald.com


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