WASHINGTON (WRIC) — The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration will require SpaceX to take more than 75 actions before launching the Starship/Super Heavy vehicle.
These steps are meant to reduce the environmental impact introduced in SpaceX’s proposed plan for the launch, which will take place in Boca Chica, Texas.
In addition to the environmental review, public safety and national security, along with others, must be completed before a launch license is given, according to the FAA.
This review is only one part of the FAA Launch Operator License application process. SpaceX must also meet the FAA’s guidelines regarding safety, risk and financial requirements before receiving a license.
The FAA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have also decided that there will be an advanced announcement of launches to limit the closure of State Highway 4 during launch operations. The highway crosses Boca Chica Beach, Texas State Parks and the Lower Rio Grande National Wildlife Refuge.
The FAA is also requiring notifications about when restrictions begin, end or are cancelled in real time.
According to the FAA, added steps will be taken to ensure fish, wildlife, plants and resources addressed by the National Historic Preservation Act are protected. Some examples of these steps include:
- A qualified biologist monitoring vegetation and wildlife
- Nearby communities being notified about possible loud launch noises
- State and/or federal agencies to work with SpaceX to extract debris from launches from sensitive environments
- Launch complex lighting being adjusted to reduce impact on wildlife