The Air Force runs the range for launches out of Florida and it is aging hardware, with long reset times, radars dropping off (Like first attempt of DSCOVR, and SMAP launch).

I cannot find a reference but I recall the cost to upgrade the range was some crazy amount of money. A 10 year deal to maintain the range is on the order of two billion.

Keeping that in mind, what kind of range will SpaceX be building for the Boca Chica/Brownsville space port they are building in Texas?


1 Answer 1


SpaceX is teaming up with the University of Texas Brownsville, UT Rio Grande Valley and local development agencies on STARGATE - a combination education, research, tech development and space tracking center using phased array antennas. It'll be situated next to their Mars Crossing mission control centers at the Texas Launch Site. From UT Brownsville page on STARGATE:

As a research center adjacent to SpaceX's future command and control center, STARGATE will developing new radio frequency based (RF) technologies for a wide range of academic and commercial applications. STARGATE will enable our students to be directly involved in all aspects of a space mission, including the design of the spacecraft, testing, launch, and orbital operations.

Initially the site will be a Falcon 9/Falcon Heavy launch complex similar to their Vandenberg SLC-4E and its neighboring landing pads.

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    $\begingroup$ Here's an updated link for STARGATE: utrgv.edu/cos/programs/stargate/index.htm $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 4:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris good job - even better than the archived link. I can't seem to edit the question after approving your previous edit, otherwise I'd put it in there. I assume it will happen in due course. Also, I've asked this follow-up question. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 6:58

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