SpaceX can continue to develop and test huge starship vehicles in South Texas as long as it struggles to mitigate its impact on environmentally sensitive areas. The long-awaited review by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been found.
Its FAA review, called the Program’s Environmental Assessment (PEA), is Starship Activities at Starbase, a SpaceX facility near the city of Brownsville.
PEA was originally planned to be released by the end of 2021, but FAA The deadline has been postponed many timesCiting the need to consult with other agencies and analyze thousands of public comments submitted in response to the draft version published in mid-September.
Photo: SpaceX lifts a giant super heavy rocket to the launch pad
One step closer to Starship’s first orbital flight test https://t.co/MEcQ6gST6Qpic.twitter.com/jxqEsM62gcJune 13, 2022
The work is finally complete and the FAA announced today (June 13th).And the result is mostly good news SpaceX: The company can continue its Starship work on a Starbase basis. Starbase is currently focused on preparing a huge vehicle for its first orbital test flight without the need for environmental impact statements or more rigorous and time-consuming reviews.
Indeed, SpaceX responded to today’s PEA release by: Congratulatory tweets (Opens in a new tab): “We are one step closer to the first orbital flight test of Starship.”
However, the final PEA is not considered to be suitable for Starbase and its surroundings along the Texas Bay, which is a biodiversity hotspot, so SpaceX cannot be given free action. The company must take more than 75 actions to reduce its environmental impact on the community.
“After consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, there will be more advance notice of the launch to reduce the time period during which Route 4 will be closed during launch operations. This highway will be on Bokatika Beach, Texas State Park, Crossing the Lower Rio Grande National Wildlife Refuge, “FAA officials wrote a statement today in an email.
“The 18 identified holidays are not allowed to be closed, weekend limits are limited to 5 weeks per year, ensuring secure access to shelters and parks throughout the calendar year,” they added. .. “FAA also requires real-time notification when access restrictions start, end, or are cancelled.”
SpaceX needs to take other steps, such as allowing biologists to monitor the population of flora and fauna in the area. Continue to inform the community about activities that may make loud noises, such as sonic booms. Helps ensure that launch debris is removed from sensitive habitats. Change the lighting settings to reduce the impact on adjacent beaches and nocturnal wildlife.
The final PEA and other related documentation can be read at the following URL: FAA website (Opens in a new tab)..
Starship consists of a huge first-stage booster called Super Heavy and a 165-foot (50-meter) high spacecraft called Starship. SpaceX Founder and CEO will be able to reuse both of these elements completely and quickly. Elon Musk Said.
SpaceX sees Starship as a potentially revolutionary transportation system. This makes Mars’ colonization and various other exploration feats economically feasible. NASA found a promise in the vehicle and chose it as the first crew member’s lunar module for it. Artemis Moon Program..
SpaceX has done a lot High altitude test flight From Starbase with prototypes of the higher stages of Starship, the first orbital attempt in the future will be a major leap forward for the program. It is unclear exactly when it will occur and not all regulatory boxes have been checked. SpaceX needs to receive a boot license from FAA.
Mike Wall says “there (Opens in a new tab)“(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book on alien life exploration. Follow him on Twitter. @michaeldwall (Opens in a new tab).. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (Opens in a new tab) or Facebook (Opens in a new tab)..