When SpaceX does begin sending people to Mars, the last part of Earth they see from the ground — perhaps ever if it’s a one-way trip — will likely be the company’s private spaceport in Boca Chica Village, Texas. And it looks like the company is gearing up to get the facility operational before the end of the year.

For now, SpaceX leases three launch facilities from the United States government: a pair in Florida at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and another at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The company’s South Texas Launch Site would give SpaceX total control of the launch process for its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets. Company founder Elon Musk has also indicated the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR, would likely launch toward Mars and elsewhere from Boca Chica Village.

In a statement to Teslarati, SpaceX Senior Communication Manager James Gleeson confirmed the site is moving toward operational status within the next several months. Though that likely doesn’t mean the company’s existing rockets would immediately decamp from their current launchpads before the end of 2018, it might mean SpaceX could begin suborbital tests on the BFR from South Texas within the next year.

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“We are currently targeting late 2018 for the site in South Texas to be operational,” Gleeson told *Teslarati. “But we’re reviewing our progress and will turn the site online as soon as it’s ready.”

The availability of the Texas launch site could make a significant difference in determining the timeline for the BFR, the existence of which Musk announced last September at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia.

Once the facility is ready and approved for orbital launches of Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy — which could happen as early as 2019 — this would also presumably increase how many missions SpaceX can undertake. Continually ramping up SpaceX’s launch cadence is key to Musk’s plan to fund the nearly incomprehensible price of Martian exploration.

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell previously indicated in January that the site would be operational by late 2018 or early 2019. Given the Boca Chica Village site is plainly visible to outsiders, it will likely be obvious when construction begins in earnest. SpaceX’s pad construction team was previously busy working on refurbishments and upgrades at the two Florida launch sites, but they should now be free to begin work in South Texas.

Photos via SpaceX

Last week SpaceX pulled off yet another historic flight by launching and recovering one of its Falcon 9 rockets for a record-breaking third time. But the celebration was particularly short-lived: Days later, a subsequent mission went amiss after the first stage of another Falcon 9 splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean after missing the landing pad at the Kennedy Air Force Base in Florida.

On Monday, scientists revealed the first images of a human inside the world’s newest total body scanner, called EXPLORER. The name is fitting because this scanner really leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination, tracking the way drugs and disease progress through every nook and cranny in the body.

Designed by biomedical engineering professor Simon Cherry, Ph.D., and biophysicist Ramsey Badawi, Ph.D. at University of California, Davis, this scanner produces images that look like a hybrid between a PET scan (which is often used to find tumors) and an X-ray, all in ghostly black and white. But what’s interesting about EXPLORER, which will be officially unveiled at the Radiological Society of North America meeting on November 24th, isn’t that it produces detailed images of tissues or bones. Cherry tells Inverse that it can also create 3D movies showing where certain drugs may end up in the body.

We’ve all been there: you’re out and your battery is at 5%. You’re frantically looking for an outlet for your phone in a crowded restaurant or train station. Your phone is like an extension of you so being without it isn’t just annoying, it can be crippling.

The BentoStack Charge is maybe the best solution to the battery life problem. It’s a wireless charger with both an easy to carry lid that charges your phone, and it comes with a storage box to carry a USB charger and even your wireless earbuds.

NASA wants to make the Clavius Base seen in 2001: A Space Odyssey real (or at least something close to it). The space agency recently published a marketing video on November 16 to hype up its ambitious plan to construct both orbiting and stationary lunar outposts.

The National Space Exploration Campaign Report proposes getting humans back on the moon “no later than 2029”, in compliance with the White House’s Space Policy Directive 1. The document states that an orbital lunar depot — called Gateway — along with advanced landers will be fully operational by 2028. NASA believes this infrastructure is a necessary stepping stone toward deeper space exploration.