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SpaceX must follow actions to lessen environmental impact of launches, FAA rules

The company has gotten the OK to launch its Starship from Texas if it complies with the more than 75 actions.

CAMERON COUNTY, Texas — Elon Musk's SpaceX must work to lessen the environmental impact of a planned launch for its Starship/Super Heavy vehicle in Boca Chica, Texas, by following more than 75 actions from the Federal Aviation Administration.  

The FAA's environmental review determined the actions, which help decide if a launch license can be granted. Additionally, SpaceX's launch plans must undergo public safety and national security analyses to receive a license, which is currently pending.

Launches will also have more advanced notice to prevent long closures of State Highway 4, which crosses Boca Chica Beach and the Lower Rio Grande National Wildlife Refuge. Conversations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that closures cannot take place on 18 select holidays and restrictions will not be allowed for more than five weekends a year.

With SpaceX's launch plans in mind, a biologist will monitor vegetation and wildlife, state or federal agencies will help rid habitats of launch debris, and surrounding communities will receive notification of any engine noise or sonic booms launches may cause.


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