SpaceX ‘noise’ goes largely quiet over summer

MCLENNAN COUNTY – Say the name SpaceX in central Texas and most people think of the giant rocket engine test facility in McLennan County.

At any one time, nearly 1,000 or more people are employed there. They inject a lot of money into the local economy.

For months last winter and spring, however, the facility also pumped out massive noise and disturbance during engine testing, frustrating thousands of people in McLennan County.

Then, a curious thing happened this summer: hardly any noise or vibration.

“Over the summer it has dissipated even more to the point where I rarely hear it, and I haven’t had a call about it since June,” Mayor Jim Hering of McGregor said.

The mayor said the situation last fall and in the first half of 2022 was reaching a boiling point.

“The noise was bad, the shaking was bad,” Hering said. “SpaceX knew that. It’s no secret. It’s something we’ve talked about openly.”

Two big changes helped calm things down from June.

For one thing, Hering said SpaceX has changed its actual testbeds. Additionally, the summer months typically contribute noise and vibration due to the atmosphere, he said.

The company has also improved on its testing, achieving the vast majority now before 9 p.m., when fines come in from the city. It was also a great source of irritation for the inhabitants.

“This fine is several thousand dollars. It adds up over the year, so if they do it again, it’s even more,” Hering said.

25 News contacted SpaceX several times over the past week for comment, but never received a response.

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