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Space Government

Proposed SpaceX Spaceport Passes Its Final Federal Environmental Review 40

An anonymous reader writes "The proposed SpaceX spaceport in Brownsville, Texas, has passed its final federal environmental review. 'The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which had raised concerns about possible impact on habitat for some endangered species, ultimately concluded that "the project is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any listed or proposed to be listed species nor adversely modify piping plover critical habitat". But wildlife officials don't expect the project to be harmless: Two individual cats, either from the endangered ocelot or jaguarondi species, could be lost as a result of the project in spite of efforts to avoid just that with measures such as posting warning signs along the road leading to the launch site. And federal wildlife officials also anticipate that more than 7 miles of beachfront used by nesting sea turtles could be disturbed by security patrols, though driving is already permitted on the beach.'"
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Proposed SpaceX Spaceport Passes Its Final Federal Environmental Review

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  • by EmperorArthur ( 1113223 ) on Friday May 30, 2014 @09:58AM (#47128335)

    Out of curiosity, what do they need their own spaceport for, especially if (as an earlier poster notes) they only intend to launch about once a month? Are there constraints on the use of launchpads at Cape Canaveral, where there's already been a great deal of investment in building launchpads, support structures, etc.?

    That's a part of it. Without looking into the details, Cape Canaveral doesn't seem to want to deal with more than one rocket launch within a week of each other. Wile the US Gov launches from Vandenberg, they also launch from Cape Canaveral. Plus the Orbital Sciences launches, other commercial launches, and everything else that happens there. The current story is often launch attempt one aborts, launch attempt two has a delay to make sure they fixed the problem, then it's a several week delay because Cape Canaveral had another launch planned.

    The other reason is the idea of recovering the Falcon 9 rocket. It could be easier to launch from Texas and recover at Cape Canaveral.

  • by bradley13 ( 1118935 ) on Friday May 30, 2014 @10:18AM (#47128487) Homepage

    Let us not forget the primary purpose of federal environmental impact studies: They take years, employ dozens of bureaucrats, and somehow, there's always one more step, one more required study. The "Iron Law of Bureaucracy" has long since taken over...

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!