RGV’s ‘Rocket Ranch’ launches near SpaceX

Local News

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (KVEO) – One man is taking his interest in space travel to new heights. He is building a campground in hopes it will one day be a destination for watching SpaceX launches from a unique perspective. 

Just when you start seeing SpaceX developments in the horizon on Highway 4, a detour down a gravel road will launch you into another world. 

“SpaceX by far, in my opinion, is the most interesting thing that’s going on in the world right now,” said David Santilena.  

Santilena is an airline pilot with extra time on his hands thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is used his time to work on an out-of-this-world project, Rocket Ranch.  

“Basically, it’s a glamping spot,” said Santilena. 

He has created a space-themed campground near the Boca Chica testing site in hopes of offering a one-of-a-kind launch party. 

Santilena says, “the main purpose for this, originally, was [so] people could come when there is a launch event, there’s a place for them to stay, and they can go and watch the event.” 

The ranch is located on the edge of the Rio Grande and is also a perfect location for birding.  

“The other day we had some birders who were just kinda coming by, and we told them ‘hey come on out,’ and they looked at it and could not believe that this was here,” said Santilena. 

So far, the campground includes a common area with a kitchen and living room, restrooms, and four retrofitted campers. He plans on taking his project farther.  

When asked if he would go as far as mars, he laughed and said “absolutely not.” 

He is reaching for one star: “I would love it more than anything for somebody who was going to mars, to have their last beer on earth right here on rocket ranch.” 

Santilena is still working on projects at the ranch but it is available for reservations.  

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