KOPERNIK SHORES, Texas – As SpaceX’s Starship SN8 prototype waits for its day to launch nearly 50,000 feet into the air, the small village of Boca Chica is increasingly becoming known for its rocket building potential, but the village has long been a land rich in history and also a haven for nature.
One look at Boca Chica Beach and one cannot miss the large steel Starship mounted on a launchpad as well as seemingly non-stop construction.
“The Google maps hasn’t updated yet, you can still see the outprint of the village. You show up and there’s 30 story buildings being built already. I think it’s been blowing up,” said Davis Reid, a space enthusiast who drove from Utah to see the SN8 launch.
Part of SpaceX’s history includes buying homeowner’s property or developing around it. Cheryl Stevens was a former villager whose home was right next to the SpaceX Starship manufacturing facility. She could see it outside her window. Stevens said she was not too happy about their rapid development. She said she felt pressure to sell her property to SpaceX, despite her hope to develop her Airbnb or rental property.
“I felt like I had no choice,” Stevens said in August.
Many villagers were in love with the remoteness of its location. One long road leads straight to the Gulf of Mexico, Boca Chica Beach.
On the way there, one can’t help but see several historical markers. Boca Chica’s earth holds history. On Boca Chica land, the Battle of Palmito Ranch was fought. Several Civil War historical markers line Boca Chica Boulevard.
Boca Chica is also a known estuary of the Rio Grande Valley, a bird migration route and a place where turtles find respite, crabs and cacti too.
The colorful biodiversity is now sharing space with a rocket facility and its fans. Many villagers also welcomed the facility and their front seat to history. Several turned to document the SpaceX site religiously. That is how Reid is keeping up with SpaceX’s latest developments.
“I think it’s amazing what they’re doing. No one else is doing it,” Reid said.
Those fans are hoping to see this facility create another chapter of history with Starship SN8.
“I’m going to camp out in the car. I’m camping out until it launches,” Reid said.