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FAA delays SpaceX’s environmental review of Boca Chica

FAA delays SpaceX’s environmental review of Boca Chica

FAA delays release of SpaceX environmental review of Boca Chica site

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Tuesday that the release date of the SpaceX Starship/Super Heavy Final Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) will be pushed further into 2022.

November 2021, SpaceX launch pad [Photo: Gaby Moreno]

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The FAA sent an update stating that they would release the Final PEA by February 28, 2022.

In November, the government agency had previously set December 31, 2020 as their release date. The new date was not explained.

The FAA adds that SpaceX, under the supervision of the FAA, is “currently drafting responses for the over 18,000 public comments received on the Draft PEA.”

Some of those comments were heard during the FAA’s public hearing on the Draft PEA back in October. SpaceX operations in south Texas were supported by many, while complete opposition was expressed by others.

The delay will further push back, CEOand Chief Engineer of SpaceX, Elon Musk’s plans of sending a prototype of the reusable spacecraft, Starship/Super Heavy, into orbit.

Musk stated in a November interview that he plans to send the Starship/Super Heavy prototype into orbit by January 2022. The Final PEA’s new release date will push that date further into future.

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This is the beginning of this month Musk’s announcementTwitter confirmed that the construction of a Starship launchpad at the John F. Kennedy Space Center had begun.

The agency added that the new release date “will allow the FAA to review the Final PEA, including responses to comments and coordinate with agencies at the local, State, and Federal level.” SpaceX is in charge of giving the Final PEA to the FAA for review.

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