FAA's SpaceX announcement gets mixed reactions from local organizations
The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday that SpaceX will need to take some actions to reduce environmental impacts if they want to continue launching from Boca Chica.
The news is getting mixed reactions from local organizations.
Save RGV, an environmental conservation organization, says they want the laws and regulations to be followed by SpaceX and are concerned about the need for a full environmental assessment.
"What we're looking at is really trying to minimize the unattended consequences," said Save RGV member Patrick Anderson. "The launches at Boca Chica has evidenced impacts to bird species and their ecology, habitat and nesting sites."
Monday’s review is a big step towards sub-orbital flight, but it doesn't guarantee SpaceX will get a launch license. The long-awaited assessment by the FAA shows that they will require SpaceX to take more than 75 actions to mitigate environmental impacts from its proposed plan in order to launch from Boca Chica.
On the to-do list are public safety, national security and other analyses that have to be completed before a launch license can be issued.
Another item is more advanced notice of launches and landings.
"Hopefully this will become a win-win, but I know that those concerns raised by environmentalists and environmental groups—FAA has considered them in their process," said Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino.
Trevino is hopeful for the future of space travel in the county.
"We think that's going to attract a lot of interest worldwide and bring a lot of people to our area. From a tourism standpoint and just from an interest standpoint."
Rocket Ranch is a campground eight miles away from the SpaceX launching pad. Managing partner Anthony Gomez says he was excited after hearing about the announcement. He says they rely on the SpaceX facility for business, seeing locals and even people traveling from outside of the state.
"We're really a part of the community and that's why we're here," Gomez said. "It's like giving a home to the people who appreciate this because we love this stuff and if people do launch from here, that's going make this place synonymous with human history."