TECHNOLOGY

The FAA weighs the environmental impact of the SpaceX launch site


There are also people in the environment. The FAA’s draft report states that 527 people live in the area on the American side of the border. Ninety percent of them are people of color and two percent are in families where the income is twice or below the poverty line. It also addresses the issue of environmental justice by creating the potential for construction and environmental hazards, said Moriba Jah, a space engineer at the University of Texas at Austin, whose research includes spatial environmentalism.

But Jah, Berg, Gabler and others say they have not seen any publicity from the company to talk about environmental concerns and other local issues with residents. “SpaceX should at least go to the community and say, ‘We’re going to have a town hall. That’s what we want to do.’ But I didn’t see anything happening from a distance, “said Jah.

“They treat the locals like, ‘We’re glad we’re here. “We’re not going to ask permission, but we’ll apologize later,” said Rob Nixon, vice chairman of the South Texas chapter of the Survider Foundation. For example, according to his calculations, SpaceX has closed Highway 4, the only access to Boca Chika Public Beach, for more than 300 hours each time in the last two years, more than the company’s previous agreement with the FAA. With its Starship plan, SpaceX expects to be closed for 500 hours a year, according to a new FAA report.

That said, at Monday’s hearing, most commentators expressed support for the company. “I sincerely support SpaceX and their efforts locally and I’m thrilled to have them here,” said Austin Bernard of Brownsville, Texas. “This is the first time I’ve seen my community fully embrace that a new dawn is coming to humanity through space exploration and the expansion of our civilization into another world.”

He was followed by another local resident, Gernimo Reis-Retana, who lamented the lack of attention to the Mexican community across the border. “The assessment deliberately chose not to take into account the existence of several Tamaulipas settlements located in the FAA limited area of ​​influence,” he said.

As private companies increase their launches, FAA officials will stop their work for them, running it in a foolish chika with many environmental reviews. However, they are not the only ones controlling the aerospace industry. While the FAA oversees launch and reconnaissance missions, the FCC is responsible for space communications, the Commerce Department oversees economic activities in space, NASA provides various guidelines, and the Pentagon monitors debris in orbit.

“What we’re doing now with spacecraft is very similar to what happened to aviation in the 1920s. It was a patchwork: your post office and commerce department were involved, and no one was actually in charge. Wendy Whiteman Cobb, a political scientist at the Air Force School of Advanced Air, said it wasn’t until the 130s and 140s, when commercial aviation began, when they began to integrate these services into a single entity or department. Space research. He believes the federal government can eventually consolidate commercial spacecraft regulations under a single entity.



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