To Get His Border Wall, the President May Have to Go Through Elon Musk
The aspirations of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and President Donald Trump have reportedly collided: The plot of land where the billionaire entrepreneur is constructing SpaceX’s South Texas launch site to launch the future Starship rocket stands in the way of where Trump wants to build his proposed border wall. You can check out some footage of the Texas facility in the footage above.
Musk is the landowner of the roughly 57-acre stretch of rural area in the Boca Chica Village found at the southernmost tip of Texas. Construction has been ongoing since September 2014 with the launch site scheduled to be completed sometime in 2019. But The New York Times reported Thursday that Trump’s plans would impede Starship’s future launch site if the President ever gets the project off the ground. The result would most likely result in both projects being stalled indefinitely.
If Congress approves Trump’s requested $5 billion in funding for a wall, seizing Musk’s private property would be the next hurdle before construction could commence. The U.S. government has already begun seizing private property in Southern Texas last June through the process of eminent domain, but this process can still be further stalled through the courts. If the Feds do attempt to acquire Musk’s plot of land, he would most likely sue and stall any further actions (this also assumes Musk doesn’t want to sell).
SpaceX has reportedly had conversations with Customs and Border Protection and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security. A company spokesperson told The New York Times the both agencies requested to conduct a survey of the launch site construction zone. This could be a sign for action to come.
Even though the Trump administration has unveiled wall prototypes around the San Diego border, the future of its Texas construction is not guaranteed. As it stands, Trump needs first needs to secure the funds necessary to make the wall happen.
If that falls through, it’s very likely Starship will be perched in Southern Texas, not a border wall.