FAA To Kick Off Public Hearings on SpaceX Environmental Review

Draft report released in September suggests low impact to surrounding area.

SpaceX has set some lofty goals to develop the world’s most powerful launch vehicle, capable of sending crew and cargo to the Martian surface.

The spacecraft, Starship, and its Super Heavy rocket will be launched from the Boca Chica Launch Site in Cameron County, Texas—if it can gain approval from the FAA.

Next week, the FAA will start hearing public comments on its draft environmental assessment of SpaceX’s program in Texas. The 149-page report, released in September, outlines the effects Starship would have on the environment, as well as potential safety hazards regarding overflight of populated areas.

The FAA previously extended the public comment period to allow time for agencies, organizations, Native American tribes, and the general public to review the report in preparation for their comments.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk previously asked for public support on Twitter.

According to the FAA draft report, the launch site in Boca Chica, Texas is not located near any farmland or protected waterways. SpaceX will also contract a qualified biologist to oversee the beginning of the construction process. The FAA describes the launch site’s surrounding area as “sparsely populated.”

SpaceX is currently licensed to test Starship prototypes and has already conducted multiple test launches, one of which exploded shortly after landing.

After the public hearings, the FAA will publish a final assessment. SpaceX will then await licensing for the Super Heavy rocket.

The FAA’s online public hearings will be held on October 18 and October 20 at 6 p.m. EST. For instructions on how to join each session, visit the FAA’s website here.


New to Flying?


Already have an account?