The SpaceX private launch site is a space launch facility being built just south of South Padre Island at Boca Chica Village near Brownsville, Texas for the private use of Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, Its purpose is “to provide SpaceX an exclusive launch site that would allow the company to accommodate its launch manifest and meet tight launch windows.” The launch facility is intended to support launches of the SpaceX Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles as well as “a variety of reusable suborbital launch vehicles.” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has also indicated that he expects “commercial astronauts, private astronauts, to be departing from South Texas”
During 2012 through mid-2014, SpaceX was considering seven potential locations around the United States for the new commercial launch pad. For much of this period, a parcel of land adjacent to Boca Chica Beach near South Padre Island, Texas was the leading candidate location, during an extended period while the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) conducted an extensive environmental assessment on the use of the Texas location as a launch site. Also during this period, SpaceX began acquiring land in the area, purchasing approximately 41 acres (17 ha) and leasing 57 acres (23 ha) by July 2014. SpaceX announced on August 4, 2014, that they had selected the location near South Padre Island as the location for the new non-governmental launch site, after the final environmental assessment completed and environmental agreements were in place by early July 2014.
SpaceX started construction on the new launch facility in September 2014,with the first launches from the facility expected to take place no earlier than 2016, the SpaceX facility will reportedly include “a vertical launch area and control center to support 12 commercial launches per year. In 2013, the Texas Legislature changed the law to make it easier for SpaceX to operate in Texas. Under the new state law, SpaceX could launch rockets up to 12 times a year, mostly between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., but not on weekends or holidays unless the company can show local and state authorities that scrubbing a launch would cause significant business consequences. At least one nighttime launch would be allowed per year.
“SpaceX is excited to expand our work in Texas with the world’s first commercial launch complex designed specifically for orbital missions,” said Musk in the announcement. “We appreciate the support of Gov. Perry and numerous other federal, state and local officials who have partnered with us to make this vision a reality. In addition to creating hundreds of high tech jobs for the Texas workforce, this site will inspire students, expand the supplier base and attract tourists to the south Texas area.”