The United States Federal Aviation Administration is currently evaluating four vehicle designs within its Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) process. This process is currently at the Public Scoping stage and the time period for this has been extended to October 31, 2003.
The vehicle types under evaluation are grouped based on their proposed launch and landing operations.
The launch operations consist of two types, horizontal and vertical launch. The FAA prepared a PEIS for Licensing Launches in 2001 which addressed the impacts of vertically launched vehicles and therefore, this PEIS will only address the impacts from horizontally launched vehicles.
The landing category is sorted by powered and unpowered landing. The PEIS would address the impacts of launch and reentry of vehicles not previously analyzed with the following characteristics.
Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation at FAA
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The Deep Secrets Of Deep Space Might Just Be Alien Chit Chat
London - May 14, 2003
If we are not alone in the Universe, why have we never picked up signals from an extraterrestrial civilisation asks New Scientist in this weeks issue? Known as the Fermi paradox after physicist Enrico Fermi, who first posed the question, this long-standing puzzle remains one of the strongest arguments against the existence of intelligent aliens.
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