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FAA seeks public input on SpaceX Starship's environmental impact in Florida
FAA seeks public input on SpaceX Starship's environmental impact in Florida
by Mike Heuer
Washington DC (UPI) Jun 12, 2024

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration are preparing an environmental impact statement regarding licensing for the SpaceX Starship and its super-heavy launch vehicle and want public input.

SpaceX wants a commercial launch vehicle operator license to use Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the FAA says.

SpaceX also wants to build launch and landing sites near the LC 39A to enable Starship launches and landings for the super-heavy booster and Starship at LC-39A.

Recoverable super-heavy booster and Starship landings at the launch site or using a droneship and expendable booster and Starship landings in the ocean also are proposed.

The FAA says SpaceX needs the agency to issue a vehicle operator license and approve airspace closures, which the National Environmental Policy Act categorizes as a "major federal action."

SpaceX also wants to expand its "Hangar X" site at the Roberts Road area of Kennedy Space Center by 100 acres, which already has undergone an environmental review.

The FAA is the lead agency in conducting the environmental review and will consider potential environmental impacts.

The FAA on May 10 published its notice of intent to prepare the environmental impact statement and encourages people and entities to submit comments online through the federal E-rulemaking portal no later than June 24.

The FAA will review all comments submitted online.

The FAA also scheduled two in-person public meetings Wednesday at the Radisson Cape Canaveral and one Thursday at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Merritt Island in Florida.

One virtual meeting is scheduled Monday from 6 p.m. to 8 EDT using a Zoom link and using the meeting ID 894 0297 9916.

Those interested also can call 833-928-4608, 833-928-4609 or 833-928-4610 to participate in the virtual meeting.

Members of the public will have the opportunity to discuss the proposal with subject-matter experts.

Online copies of display boards and fact sheets used at in-person meetings are accessible online in English and Spanish.

SpaceX officials say the Starship's super-heavy launch vehicle is the "most powerful launch system ever developed" and can carry up to 100 people on "long-duration, interplanetary flights."

Dubbed the "Starship," the rocket system enables satellite delivery into space, the development of a moon base and point-to-point transport on Earth.

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