Turns Out Not Everybody is Thrilled with Space X in Central Texas
Space X will expand its testing facility in McGregor, and with it comes job growth. But not everybody in the area is happy about it.
Space X first arrived in McGregor, Texas in 2003 and took over the old Beal Aerospace facility to test the engine for Falcon 9. The facility in McGregor is still the home for Space X's Rocket Development and Test Facility, where they test new rocket engines and thrusters. Elon Musk recently announced he's planning on expanding, and not everybody is excited about it.
The people that live in McGregor and nearby cities like Waco, Hewitt, or Lorena certainly know when Space X tests its rockets. The rumble can be heard and felt for miles. The tests can be pretty quick at times, or even last for what feels like 45 seconds to a full minute.
Those living nearby the testing site however have a much different feeling on the whole thing. Rick Van Guilder, who lives in a mobile home in Ogelsby, about a mile and a half from the testing site, tells our news partners at KWTX, “It just shakes everything. You know, it really shakes the walls, pictures fall off the walls, stuff on the shelves falls off.”
Van Guilder's step son lives next door and believes his constant plumbing issues are caused by his shifting home.
Beth Dutschmann lives about three miles from Space X and says her back yard pool can no longer hold water and blames the testing at the facility. “We had a beautiful pool in our backyard, now we have an eye sore” she says.
Local homeowners in the are can't do much about the problems because of the agreements Space X has with state lawmakers, which basically gives them "blanket immunity from prosecution for any nuisance caused by space exploration testing."
Local attorney Jim Dunnam says, “Evidently they believe they have legal rights to mess up these people’s homes, mess with their quality of life.”
Space X has said that they will alter their testing process to help reduce the noise and vibrations.
Time will tell if that happens or not.