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FAA public survey reveals concerns among residents about SpaceX activities

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Space enthusiasts look at a prototype of SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft at the company’s Texas launch facility on September 28, 2019 in Boca Chica near Brownsville, Texas. The Starship spacecraft is a massive vehicle meant to take people to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. (Photo by Loren Elliott/Getty Images)

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO) — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released its findings from a public scoping report relating to SpaceX’s Starship/Super Heavy launch proposal at Boca Chica.

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In the report, the FAA states it is conducting an environmental review of SpaceX’s plans to launch its spacecraft from Boca Chica and will review whether or not it will approve the project.

A public scoping period was held between December 2020 and January 2021 to review comments and concerns on the SpaceX project.

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The FAA received 321 responses during the survey, 122 of which came from agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Responses revealed concerns and support for SpaceX’s activities.

Some respondents raised concerns about the project’s impact on local species and their habitat, impact on the land, negative impact on low-income residents in the area, and the overall degradation of the environment.

However, others responded differently to the project and noted economic benefits regionally, job creation, and progress in commercial space transportation as positive impacts.

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The FAA will use these comments in a draft environmental assessment that will dictate how the agency responds to SpaceX’s request to launch their spacecraft in Boca Chica.

SpaceX hopes to use the facility at Boca Chica to use their Starship/Super Heavy for several projects, including “interplanetary missions for cargo and humans,” said the FAA.

The proposal also calls for pre-flight tests and several construction activities.

“If the FAA determines the potential environmental impacts of the proposed action would be significant based upon the Draft EA, and those impacts cannot be properly mitigated to less than significant levels, the FAA would publish a Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS and conduct additional public scoping,” the administration said in a release.

You can read the full report from the FAA here.

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