US Military threatens operations between SpaceX and NASA ​

According to a piece of new information, the collaboration between SpaceX and NASA might be at risk because the American military forces are …

According to a piece of new information, the collaboration between SpaceX and NASA might be at risk because the American military forces are monitoring Elon Musk’s space agency’s operations because their spacecraft carry aboard satellites.

NASA is apparently keeping a close watch on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon expedition which suffered an impediment just last week as the capsule blew up while examined in the static fire test. Besides this, the NASA signed with Elon Musk’s space agency a $2.6 billion contract to transport astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), and also, the U.S. Air Force voiced its concern over the fact that SpaceX will be having on board national security property, namely satellites. Due to this, the U.S. military could, in fact, stop the launch if SpaceX will still encounter problems during its test flights, the report said.

Brigadier General Douglas Schiess, the Air Force commander managing the unit reported in a recent interview that the Air Force designed personnel that knows the preparation procedures of the satellite and rocket to observe the process. They have the power to interfere with SpaceX-NASA operations if they think that the ‘correct’ process is not being ensued, Schiess said.

Not only SpaceX but also Boeing has signed a contract with NASA and are now supposed to support NASA with its space observations and missions through the agency’s commercial space project. However, SpaceX is now the forerunner as it successfully fired an uncrewed Crew Dragon spacecraft at the beginning of the year and anchored it at the International Space Station without any problem.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon is intended to be the space agency’s first capsule to carry on board human occupants. Elon Musk’s space agency was scheduled to carry on the second stage of the demos which includes American astronauts, but because of the accident occurred at its hangar, the mission was a bit delayed. Crew Dragon spacecraft was due to transport NASA astronauts to the International Space Station this year.

​The accident which occurred on April 20, took place while numerous engine tests were performed on the Dragon capsule at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The explosion happened during the last phases of testing, and because of it, the second demo was postponed, and thus the American Air force could also push back the launch if they think the expedition is not prepared enough.

Steff Haines is a reporter for Swerd Media. After graduating from American River College, Steff got an internship at NPR and worked as a beat reporter for the Los Angeles Kings. Steff was also was a columnist for the Huff Post. Steff mostly covers entertainment and community events in the Sacramento area.

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Hooking up: Port link to SpaceX perhaps one year away

The South Port Connector Road was in the works long before SpaceX appeared on the horizon, though it will come in very handy in terms of the Port …
Port of Brownsville

Courtesy photo The Port of Brownsville

Port of Brownsville

The Port of Brownsville set new records in tonnage and total operating revenue in 2018, moving 11.3 million tons of diverse cargos with operating revenues of more than $24.2 million.

Posted: Sunday, April 7, 2019 9:00 pm

Hooking up: Port link to SpaceX perhaps one year awayBY STEVE CLARK STAFF WRITER Brownsville Herald

The South Port Connector Road was in the works long before SpaceX appeared on the horizon, though it will come in very handy in terms of the Port of Brownsville’s relationship with the rocket company, by connecting the port with S.H. 4 just down the road from SpaceX’s Boca Chica launch complex.

At the annual State of the Port event on March 19, Brownsville Navigation District Chairman John Reed said in his presentation that “the port expects to play an important role in the operation of SpaceX, similar in scope to what’s happening at Cape Canaveral in Florida.”

“Whether that’s in mission vehicle recovery operations, or shipping and receiving critical components, the port will be involved,” he said.

The 1.8-mile-long connector road, which will feature two bridges, will link the port at Ostos Road on the south side of the Brownsville Ship Channel with S.H. 4 about 14 miles west of the SpaceX launch site. It is the first phase of the Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority’s East Loop Corridor Project, which CCRMA hopes will eventually link the port — via a 10-mile southern loop around the city — with I-69E at Veterans International Bridge at Los Tomates.

The port connector and loop system will create access to the port for overweight trucks per legislation passed by the Texas Legislature in 2009, according to CCRMA Executive Director Pete Sepulveda Jr. Roads built to overweight standards can be used by trucks with loads up to 120,000 pounds, compared to 74,000 pounds for conventional roads, he said.

Design is complete on the two-lane, $20 million connector, the project has been fully funded and CCRMA anticipates receiving environmental clearance “any day now,” Sepulveda said.

“Once we get that clearance we can proceed to the bidding phase,” he said.

The direct link to SpaceX is icing on the cake, Sepulveda said.

“It’s going to be serving as a connection for any parts or rocket engines or those type of products to be shipped to the port, to be moved onto the SpaceX site,” Sepulveda said.

He estimated that the connector will take nine months to a year to complete.

“It’s a new road,” Sepulveda said. “We won’t be interrupting any traffic. It can go pretty quick. We’ll get a good contractor that can knock it out fairly quick.”

sclark@brownsvilleherald.com

Posted in Local News on Sunday, April 7, 2019 9:00 pm.

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SpaceX moving fast: Company seeks ‘build engineer’ for Starship project

As SpaceX’s first short static fire test of the Starship Hopper’s Raptor rocket engine was achieved briefly but dramatically after sunset on April 3, the …
SpaceX

Miguel Roberts, The Brownsville Herald

SpaceX

SpaceX Boca Chica engineers continue test on the Raptor rocket engine Wednesday that could be heard echoed through the landscape of Texas State Highway 4.

Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2019 9:30 pm

SpaceX moving fast: Company seeks ‘build engineer’ for Starship projectBY STEVE CLARKSTAFF WRITERBrownsville Herald

As SpaceX’s first short static fire test of the Starship Hopper’s Raptor rocket engine was achieved briefly but dramatically after sunset on April 3, the company is in the process of expanding its space-vehicle production team at Boca Chica.

SpaceX’s intention to move fast is clear by the wording of its job posting for Build Engineers “to rapidly build early versions of the Starship and Super Heavy (rocket booster) vehicles,” the final versions of which will one day get humans to Mars, according to the company’s plans.

“Build Engineers will spend time both in the office and on-site (local production floor and remote build sites) to execute on the mission to build an orbital-capable Starship and Super Heavy faster than anyone though possible,” reads the listing.

The first non-orbital Starship prototype — now dubbed “Starhopper” by SpaceX CEO and lead designer Elon Musk — lit up the launch pad at Boca Chica Wednesday night.

The company is also accepting applications for Vehicle Integration Engineer and Vehicle Integration Technician for the Starship project. The vehicle integration engineer “interacts with almost every part and system on the vehicle” and is mainly responsible for building, installing and testing components and system-level hardware, according to SpaceX.

“Vehicle integration engineers work hand-in-hand with technicians and other groups to bring the vehicle from just a primary structure to fully functioning spaceflight-worthy vehicle,” reads the posting.

The Vehicle Integration Technician, meanwhile, is responsible for “integration of all secondary structure, avionics (electronic systems) and stage-propulsion components and systems to the vehicle’s primary structure,” according to the company.

Musk said via Twitter on March 17 that SpaceX was seeking regulatory approval for Boca Chica and Cape Kennedy, Fla., to launch the first Starship orbital flights. An orbital Starship prototype is under construction at the company’s Boca Chica yard, roughly 1.5 miles west of the launch site.

SpaceX has also been advertising for Tank Fabricators/Welders and Tank Fabrication Supervisor at Boca Chica for several weeks.

The company declined to comment on the Starhopper’s successful April 3 engine test (the first time a rocket engine has been fired at Boca Chica), allowing Musk’s post-test tweet to suffice: “Starhopper completed tethered hop. All systems green.”

On Thursday afternoon, Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. ordered the closure of S.H. 4 and Boca Chica Beach between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. on April 5 for SpaceX testing. A further closure date of April 6, between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., was also authorized in the event testing does not take place or is not completed on April 5.

S.H. 4 will be closed temporarily from Oklahoma Avenue to the beach entrance.

sclark@brownsvilleherald.com

Posted in Local News on Thursday, April 4, 2019 9:30 pm.

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SpaceX testing closures extended

Closures of State Highway 4 leading to Boca Chica Beach so SpaceX can continue testing its Starship Hopper prototype entered a third week …
SpaceX engineers continue work on Starship prototype “hopper” at Boca Chica Beach Thursday morning as crew work to test their single Raptor engine. (Miguel Roberts | The Brownsville Herald)

Closures of State Highway 4 leading to Boca Chica Beach so SpaceX can continue testing its Starship Hopper prototype entered a third week Tuesday.

At approximately 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. again extended his order temporarily closing the area from the Boca Chica Beach access to the intersection of State Highway 4 and Oklahoma Avenue for anticipated launch activities.

This closure is between 2 and 10 p.m. — hours later than the previous closures.

Treviño authorized closures for the same times on Wednesday and Thursday if SpaceX doesn’t complete its test launch activities.

SpaceX has previously said it is conducting testing of newly installed ground systems at the launch site and was planning a short static fire test of the hopper’s engine.

On Tuesday, SpaceX didn’t immediately respond to a newspaper inquiry asking how long it anticipated needing to request the closures for its testing.

That same day, the Federal Aviation Administration issued another round of airspace restrictions for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Like last week, airspace is restricted during testing hours from the surface and up to 1,000 feet within an approximate 1.25-mile radius of the Boca Chica Launch Site.

Treviño’s order states the closures are necessary to protect the public health and safety during SpaceX testing activities.

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Road leading to SpaceX to be closed this weekend

In a teleconference with SpaceX officials Trevino said “after much consideration” he ordered the beach and the highway leading to it to be temporarily …
SpaceX1.jpg

Ryan Henry

SpaceX1.jpg

TESTING, TESTING The prototype Starship Hopper sits at the launch pad Monday as loud sounds echoed from the facility and vapors rose up from lines connecting to the test vehicle at the SpaceX facility at Boca Chica Beach, east of Brownsville. (Ryan Henry/The Brownsville Herald)

Posted: Friday, March 29, 2019 9:45 pm

Road leading to SpaceX to be closed this weekendBy LAURA B. MARTINEZ Staff Writer Brownsville Herald

Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. has ordered the temporary closure of Boca Chica Beach as well as Highway 4 from Oklahoma Road to the beach entrance today, Sunday and Monday.

Trevino said he ordered the temporary closures due to possible test launch activities for SpaceX.

Although the county judge had ordered the temporary closure for Friday as well SpaceX conducted no testing that day.

In a teleconference with SpaceX officials Trevino said “after much consideration” he ordered the beach and the highway leading to it to be temporarily closed from noon to 8 p.m. today and in the alternative on Sunday or Monday, from noon to 8 p.m.

“Should SpaceX not complete its test launch activities on March 30, 2019, then SpaceX can use the alternate dates to complete its test launch activities,” Trevino said in a press release.

Trevino said SpaceX and law enforcement authorities will be patrolling the area to ensure that no individuals or vehicles are allowed access to these areas during the time of the day.

Individuals who provide proof of residence between the two checkpoints will be allowed to proceed through the soft checkpoint to get to their homes during testing. Access beyond the hard checkpoint will not be allowed during the temporary closures, the county judge said

SpaceX has previously said that it is testing newly installed ground systems and would perform a short static fire test.

lmartinez@brownsvilleherald.com.

Posted in Local News on Friday, March 29, 2019 9:45 pm.

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