LAST TOWN BEFORE MARS: SpaceX's crucial plan to buy a village in South Texas is on the brink of failure

LAST TOWN BEFORE MARS: SpaceX's crucial plan to buy a village in South Texas is on the brink of failure
Lucy Nicholson/Reuters; SpaceX; Dave Mosher/Business Insider; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX is building a private spaceport at the southern tip of Texas, but the location features a small neighborhood of retiree-age homeowners called Boca Chica Village.

SpaceX is using the site to develop its next-generation rocket system, called Starship. In late 2019, the company offered to buy out everyone for what it says are safety reasons.

However, a cadre of homeowners say they're prepared to defend their property rights in court, and several of their neighbors may join them if Cameron County, where the site is located, begins an eminent domain process.

Business Insider's new series "Last Town Before Mars" chronicles the future of SpaceX's South Texas launch site at a critical juncture in the rocket company's history.

Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Elon Musk, the billionaire tech entrepreneur, is staking the future of his rocket company, SpaceX — now valued at more than $33 billion — on a remote and beachy strip of land in South Texas that locals call Boca Chica.
There, the company is assembling a sprawling compound of machinery and buildings, where a growing army of workers are working rapidly to develop Starship. If the 39-story stainless-steel rocket ship is realized as Musk has envisioned, it would be the largest and most powerful yet surprisingly least expensive launch system ever created. One day, Starship may even ferry the first people to Mars.
But the site Musk and SpaceX picked comes attached with an increasingly controversial and distinctly human problem: a small neighborhood of retiree-age residents called Boca Chica Village. And despite SpaceX's best and seemingly most urgent efforts, a few homeowners appear resolved not to leave.
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