Torn said testing takes place periodically throughout the day, without notice or warning. While not bothered, she said she noticed just before the vacation that the trial burns, as they are called, seemed stronger and more intense. The difference between then and now made her wonder if SpaceX had placed the tests on a “vacation break.”
Multiple sources have said SpaceX is actively seeking a solution, not wanting to upset a community it has staked its future on.
“Yes, there has been an increase in intensity, and that has been worked out with the company,” said Andrew Smith, executive director of McGregor Economic Development Corp. “They want to be good neighbors.”
He said town leadership and McGregor’s city council got involved.
Specifically, SpaceX continues to install a new test bed that significantly dampens test noise, he said. SpaceX has been at McGregor since 2003, and before that, the nearly 10,000 acres comprising the city’s industrial park were occupied by the U.S. Navy and defense contractors.
Smith said the new vertical test bed is expected to be live within 60 days.
McGregor Mayor Jim Hering wrote a letter to residents in mid-December, addressing the situation and asking for patience with SpaceX, which he described as a first-class corporate citizen who has lived up to his word. .