Spectators excited for future Starship launches, hopefully, landing


SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (KVEO) — Hundreds of people gathered in Isla Blanca Park to watch the latest Starship prototype take flight.

After days of waiting, and no word from either the SpaceX Twitter account or SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Starship SN9 launched rather abruptly shortly before 2:30 P.M. on February 2.

The launch, and spectacular crash landing, certainly captivated the spectators on the beach.

Brief video showing the size of the crowd at Isla Blanca Park on South Padre Island. The video was taken while Starship SN9 was in the air.

“Oh it was just thrilling to see it take off,” said Deborah Justice, a visitor to the area from Oregon. “And then the noise delay! It just went up, higher than you really expected it to go, and everything was just beautiful.”

While there were a lot of out-of-state spectators in the park to watch the launch, the Rio Grande Valley saw its fair share of representation as well.

“It’s just great that this is happening in our own backyard,” said Aaron Mathews, McAllen resident.

Starship SN9 didn’t fly as high as SN8 did. This time, the rocket only climbed to 10 kilometers instead of the 12.5 the previous iteration did, but the ending was just as spectacular.

Seconds after Starship SN9 made its fiery return to the ground. Starship SN10 waits on its own launch pad for its launch day.

It might not have been the outcome everyone hoped, for but the launch and explosive landing were more steps on the path to Mars.

“It was a much more dramatic explosion than SN8,” said Mathews. “That’s not quite what I came here to see but the whole experience was just overwhelming.”

“Oh yeah, I think they’re learning more all the time,” said Justice while discussing her hopes for the next launch. “I have a lot of faith in Elon Musk and their whole operation. It’s just hard to see that beautiful takeoff end like that.”

For now, Starship SN10 sits on the launchpad at Boca Chica Beach, waiting for its turn in the sky. In the meantime, spectators had a final message for the man behind the machine.

“Elon Musk, welcome to Texas. And we’re happy to have you.” said Mathews.

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