Ask my wife where she grew up and she'll say, "Air Force." Her father was a fighter pilot, so she grew up on bases all over Western Europe, with the only exception being a two-year residency during high school at the Air Force Academy here in Colorado Springs. As you can imagine, it was a noisy life, with jets coming and going anytime.
The "sound of freedom" is what the Air Force families call all the noise. According to my wife, they used to say it every time an airplane buzzes overhead – that's why they say it as often as a Vox.com writer says, "Well, actually."
Now imagine that instead of an Air Force base , you live live next to the fast-growing space harbor. This is the situation in the small south Texas neighborhood, as Ilon Musk's Spacelon is building a private space facility to develop its Mars-related Starship rocket.
If you haven't seen it, Starship looks like something beyond the cover of old pulp science fiction from the 30's. It's so Buck Rogers that I could actually scream the first time I saw it, and I'm not exactly the type of whistle. But the question is not what it looks like. The point is that anything big enough to carry a large crew to the moon or even Mars will make a lot of noise.
The elderly of the tiny village of Boca Chika are not particularly happy about the big changes (and big noises) coming in their once sleepy neighborhood, and SpaceX is worried about possible safety risks for locals. The problem came early earlier this year when SpaceX released the Starhopper test platform, which accidentally launched a small brush. Business Insider took note of a recent letter from Musk sent to residents of Boca Chica, offering to buy their properties at three times the estimated value. However, several residents say they may not take the bait.
There's even a juicy sweetener for any space nuts in the neighborhood. The offer states:
SpaceX acknowledges that your proximity to its operations offers a unique opportunity to experience closely the development of the world's most advanced rocket. In gratitude for your support, we will offer all villagers who accept the purchase offer the opportunity to continue their relationship with the Starship development by inviting them to attend future private VIP launch events that are not available for the public.
If anyone reading this lives in Boca Chica and thinks of taking the money … please let me know and invite me as your VIP plus-one. I'll pay my own travel expenses, buy drinks and grill stoves.
The offer came out a few days ago and is only good for two weeks ending September 26. This means that the residents of Boca Chica have only six days left to decide whether to take triple the independently priced value for their homes ̵
Also, withdrawal of a triple-digit retirement settlement? This is what I call the sound of freedom.