SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – The “wow”, “awesome” and “amazing” words that came out of the people’s mouths dissipated minutes after SpaceX’s Starship took off from its launch pad on Boca Chica Beach across from South Padre Island and east of Brownsville, Texas.
The rocket, dubbed the largest and most projectile ever built, took off shortly after 8:30 a.m. Thursday, April 20, as thousands of onlookers watched in amazement as it disappeared into the sky.
But little they did know that minutes later, the rocket exploded in midair far away from the locations from where two sections of rocket were to land – somewhere on the Gulf of Mexico.
Regardless of the outcome, the launching of the spacecraft was described as a success by those behind the enterprise.
Thursday’s launching was the second time this week after a previous attempt was scrapped on Tuesday, April 16, due to technical difficulties.
For the Contreras family of San Antonio, Thursday’s launching was a dream come true.
They arrived on South Padre Island on Monday for the sole reason of watching Tuesday’s launch that did not materialize.
“I was in Chicago on a business trip and left for San Antonio after finding out SpaceX was going to launch the rocket,” Tracy Contreras said. “My husband (Abel) picked me up at the airport and left for the Island. I haven’t been at home yet.”
They said they made it here for their three and a half year-old son, Benson, who they said is a fanatic about spaceships and crazy about the Toy Story movie.
“Buzz Light Year is his favorite character,” she said. “We have even taken him to NASA in Houston.”
Others watching the rocket aboard the Island-based Murphy’s Law boat included Roy and Gretchen Spinner, of Dallas, and Harlingen resident Laura Lebond.
“It was awesome,” said Lebond, after the rocket took off. “It was quite a sight.”
The Spinners, who said they were taking off for home as soon as the spectacle was over, found out about they launch as they were spending a few days on the Island.
The launch drew thousands of people who watched the event from every place they could.
Hundreds could be seen on the north jetty and throughout Isla Blanca Park and the Island.
At a forum taking place at an Island hotel, participants were told to take a 30-minute break so they could to watch the rocket go up.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, reportedly said the launching was a success.
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