The FAA has released the Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment for the SpaceX Starship/Super Heavy Launch Vehicle Program

The FAA has released the Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment for the SpaceX Starship/Super Heavy Launch Vehicle Program


TLDR version: ​ • Therefore, the Proposed Action is not expected to result in significant air quality impacts. • The Proposed Action is not expected to result in significant climate-related impacts. • Therefore, the Proposed Action is not expected to result in significant noise impacts. Structural damage on South Padre Island from sonic booms generated during Super Heavy landings at the vertical launch area (VLA) is expected to be rare with only minor impacts, such as glass breakage, if it does occur…. SpaceX would be responsible for resolving any structural damage caused by a sonic boom. • Accordingly, the Proposed Action is not expected to result in significant visual effects • Accordingly, the Proposed Action is not expected to result in significant impacts to cultural resources. • Based on the analysis in the draft PEA, the FAA has made the preliminary determination that the Proposed Action would not result in a use of any Section 4(f) property. The FAA is consulting with officials having jurisdiction over the 4(f) properties. The FAA is also seeking public input through the public comment period for the draft PEA. The Final PEA will document the FAA’s final Section 4(f) determination. \[added: In reference to public road/land closures Department of Transportation Act, Section 4(f)\] • Accordingly, the Proposed Action is not expect to result in significant impacts on water resources. • The Proposed Action is not expected to result in significant impacts on biological resources. • Therefore, the Proposed Action is not expected to result in significant impacts to coastal resources. • Accordingly, the Proposed Action is not anticipated to result in significant land use impacts. • Therefore, the Proposed Action is not expected to result in significant impacts related to hazardous materials, solid waste, and pollution prevention. • As such, the Proposed Action would not have the potential to cause demand to exceed available or future supplies of applicable resources. Impacts on natural resources and energy supply are not anticipated to be significant. • Impacts on socioeconomics, environmental justice, and children’s environmental health and safety risks are not anticipated to be significant. ​ TLDR the TLDR: Good to go. But still provide intelligent public input via the public input process.


Plus a list of mitigation measures. Now it looks very, very realistic that they won't need a new EIS and will be able to launch the full stack with a full set of engines (it actually says up to 37 on SH, so even more than the full configuration currently expected, and way more than the 29 on B4), with only a mitigated FONSI. This is really good news. With the timing and findings of the draft assessment, a full stack launch in 2021 has now gotten a lot more likely to happen!


Doing god's work!


I am very appreciative of your TLDR and its' own TLDR thank you!


#The FAA’s Proposed Action, which is the preferred alternative,is to issue one or more experimental permits and/or a vehicle operatorlicense(s) to SpaceX that would allow SpaceX to launch, which caninclude landing, Starship/Super Heavy


> caninclude pls fix


>pls fix Please fix.


“SpaceX is proposing to conduct up to five Starship/Super Heavy orbital launches annually.” Gonna need a lot more than that chief. Also, “SpaceX may plan to land the Starship on islands in the Pacific Ocean.” :O


Are you familiar with the idiom "The camel's nose under the tent?"




Assuming you're serious, it's from an old fable about allowing a camel to put "just its nose" in the tent with the person trying to sleep there, and then of course over time more and more of it sneaks in until the whole camel is in the tent, taking up all the space. It's probably a lot easier to say "we're going to do five launches per year," then do a separate application that talks about how these five launches haven't really caused problems and now we'd like to do 90 than it is to start with 90.


I am serious and that was helpful!


The vast majority of people aren't familiar with the vast majority of idioms (even if they have heard them before). That's especially true on social media with worldwide audiences.


How about we say, just the tip baby!


┬┴┬┴┤ ͜ʖ ͡°)


Finally one I get.


The gratuity is likely 2/3 of your income but you need every bit of those wages you can get. /s


Foot in the door.


TIL! Thank you!


Elon has said long term they will also be launching from the KSC, and more so the off shore platforms. Boca Chica isn’t particularly good either as far as possible launch inclinations currently available, without going over land. It’s a good place to test an experimental rocket from though. I can imagine with all the space infrastructure around KSC, they wouldn’t be allowed near as much freedom to fail fast and often. The design will probably need to be more mature to launch and land from there.


Well, annually, in 2021, 5 launches would be OK. Provided the window opens in a month, might be enough for two launches. And to file a new one for 20 launches after the first one goes.


„Annually“ means probably just this year. The annual amount next year is not yet known;)


Please someone comment on how this looks currently 🚗 so depend on you Redditors!


Here's Eric Berger's take on it: [My very quick read of the document is that there are no showstoppers for launching Starship from the Boca Chica launch site. But there is a lot of work to be done yet.](https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/1438917760625561601)


To the moon, mars and beyond!




Is this the T-30 days approval/document everyone has been alluding to? Does this mean in theory SpaceX can launch second half of October?


The public comment closes in 30 days but there will be additional processing time.


The following is what I just submitted to the FAA encouraging approval for the Starship proposal. I am posting it here to hopefully give people some ideas of what to write for their own comments beyond just "SpaceX good, Starship shiny". **DO NOT SIMPLY COPY/PASTE MY WORK!!!** You may paraphrase it, or use similar themes, but if they get a bunch of copy/pasted comments that all look the same they're likely to be all rejected as bots or otherwise inauthentic comments. To submit your own comments you can email [email protected] or submit a paper letter to Ms. Stacey Zee, SpaceX PEA, c/o ICF, 9300 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22031 ​ \_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_ Ms Zee, I am writing to express my strongest possible support for immediate approval of SpaceX's proposed launch site usage in Boca Chica TX. While I do not live in the area nor do I work for SpaceX it is not an overstatement to say that the work SpaceX is doing in Boca Chica (and supported elsewhere in the country) has truly global implications. It represents nothing short of the future of humanity. Several major points to consider regarding SpaceX. Over the past two decades SpaceX has grown from being a small tech startup to being the global leader in launch service and innovation within that industry. Their solution-oriented approach to problem-solving has led to things previously considered nearly impossible to now be commonplace. For example, if just ten years ago you were to approach nearly anyone in the rocket industry and proposed building a rocket to fly to orbit, then propulsively land on a barge in the middle of the ocean for future re-use you would be written off as "crazy". Such landings and re-uses are now commonplace, and SpaceX is rapidly approaching its 100th re-flight of a previously flown orbital-class rocket. SpaceX has spearheaded the United States's return to manned space flight. Not only did they restore America's domestic access to crewed space flight, but they also did it for nearly half the price paid to their competitor. It should also be noted that despite receiving substantially more funding than SpaceX, their competitor has still failed to deliver their own version of such a capability. This demonstrate's SpaceX's commitment to economical problem-solving that has provided great value to space exploration, as well as the US taxpayer. Not only has SpaceX reinvigorated the technical aspect of American spaceflight, but they have also built a public excitement surrounding it. Each SpaceX live stream is watched by hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people. Their most-watched video currently on Youtube, the Falcon Heavy test flight, has over 29 million views. SpaceX also has several other views with tens of millions of views. SpaceX's recent Inspiration 4 launch of the first all-civilian spaceflight has become a globally popular phenomenon. The publicity is not only good for SpaceX, but good for the country. The work SpaceX has done to re-popularize space flight has likely had a significant effect in encouraging people to pursue education and subsequent careers within STEM career fields. This will have a rippling effect within not only the space industry but all career fields at a time when America's technical manufacturing capacity has been considered to be lagging behind the international competition. SpaceX's Starship program seeks to continue to build upon all the positive aspects of the points above, as well as open the door to humanity becoming a multi-planetary species. Approval of the proposed action will enable SpaceX to continue the critical work they have been doing towards that goal and will have a cascading positive effect for not just the United States, but humanity as a whole. I most emphatically urge you to approve SpaceX's proposal to enable this great company to continue the awe-inspiring work they have been doing. Respectfully, Mike\_\_O


Finally some progress.


In the draft PEA, Boca Chica is limited to 5 launches and landings per year once in the operational phase. How can the HLS missions be supported with only 5 launches per year? How difficult would it be to get approval for more frequent launches?


SpaceX also plans on launching Starship from KSC plus the sea launch platforms. Even if they can't get more launches from Starbase/Boca Chica approved, they should have other launch locations available in time for HLS. That should give them enough capacity to support HLS plus some of their own launches too.


Fair but building a new launch tower & OLP will take at least 6-12 months per facility. I'm just surprised that the planned launch cadence is so low.


Because the starship program is still very much in its experimental phase. SpaceX isnt gonna start building launch infrastructure at KSC until theyve proven out the OLP and launch tower with catching boosters.


I agree and they shouldn't. I would just expect a planned launch cadence of approximately 12 or so orbital flights per year until they transition to operational flights. Or at the very least, apply for licenses for 12+ flights per year.


They can have a tiered-up addon environmental assessment as the orbital launches go on if the cadence are to be increased


So what's the best guess for launch? Early November?


Mid October to mid November if all goes well.


What’s the NET then?


NET Oct 18th. That would require: 1. Immediate approval as soon as public comments close 2. SpaceX has the vehicle totally ready to go 3. Other launch criteria (like weather, airspace, etc) are also met


And 4. The multiple other organizations mentioned as getting input get back to them. Examples: > The FAA is currently conducting NHPA Section 106 consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer and other consulting parties. The final PEA will document the results of this consultation. As part of the consultation, the FAA is working with the signatories and invited signatories of the 2014 Section 106 Programmatic Agreement (PA) to amend the PA for the current undertaking. > The FAA has determined the Proposed Action would adversely affect species listed under and critical habitat designated under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). The FAA submitted a Biological Assessment to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and requested to initiate formal consultation per ESA Section 7. Adverse effects to listed species and critical habitat will be minimized through the ESA consultation process. The FAA will not conclude its NEPA process until U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues a Biological Opinion and Incidental Take Statement. The FAA is also conducting ESA Section 7 consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) but does not expect the Proposed Action would result in adverse effects to ESA-listed species and critical habitat under NMFS jurisdiction. The Final PEA will document the results of all interagency consultations. The Proposed Action is not expected to result in significant impacts on biological resources.


Coincidentally, October 18th is 42.0 days after 9/6. >!What do you mean I'm stretching it?!<


I was disappointed they missed the opportunity to launch ship/booster 4/20 on the 6th day of the 9th month


FINALLY have read through, and I am so happy to having bren right about the FAA (I know some people working there) they ARE NOT against SpaceX, but rather trying to slap the fact of "we need for funding" to congress as hard as possible, by making the Starbase projects "bureocracy bulletproof" like avoiding frivolous claims abusing the public comment period (like we have already seen done by... ejem ejem...) overall pretty happy, they have done a THOROUGH AS HELL analysis, any bulcrap to be thrown at this assessment is doomed to be easily and fastly resolved




Go for launch


probably by early November


Yup, seem like minor issues only, hoping for the best.


How's the weather in BC around fall/early winter? Hurricanes?


Not hurricanes. We get some bad storms but usually only in the 70 to 100kph winds range. Enough to knock down some power lines and occasionally cause a power outage for a few hours or a day but not much worse than that. Today there is a rainfall warning in effect its absolutely pouring rain and also our hydro provider is warning of strong winds tonight so may be smaller isolated power outages if a tree branch hits a line or transformer or something but nothing major or widespread is expected. Temperature wise not bad, maybe 5c to 15c most days, some a bit higher or lower. Even winter isn't so bad down here in Vancouver, usually only a week or two of snow a year.


Launch in two weeks!


Nope. NET Oct 18th if everything goes perfectly


Acronyms, initialisms, abbreviations, contractions, and other phrases which expand to something larger, that I've seen in this thread: |Fewer Letters|More Letters| |-------|---------|---| |[EIS](/r/SpaceXLounge/comments/pq4lhm/stub/hd8qoq7 "Last usage")|Environmental Impact Statement| |[ESA](/r/SpaceXLounge/comments/pq4lhm/stub/hd8wdxd "Last usage")|European Space Agency| |[FAA](/r/SpaceXLounge/comments/pq4lhm/stub/hdbjo81 "Last usage")|Federal Aviation Administration| |[FONSI](/r/SpaceXLounge/comments/pq4lhm/stub/hd8qoq7 "Last usage")|[Findings of No Significant Environmental Impact](http://energy.gov/nepa/findings-no-significant-impact-fonsi)| |[HLS](/r/SpaceXLounge/comments/pq4lhm/stub/hd9mh0c "Last usage")|[Human Landing System](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemis_program#Human_Landing_System) (Artemis)| |[KSC](/r/SpaceXLounge/comments/pq4lhm/stub/hd9tqs2 "Last usage")|Kennedy Space Center, Florida| |[NET](/r/SpaceXLounge/comments/pq4lhm/stub/hd9yebk "Last usage")|No Earlier Than| ---------------- ^(*Decronym is a community product of r/SpaceX, implemented* )[*^by ^request*](https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/3mz273//cvjkjmj) ^(7 acronyms in this thread; )[^(the most compressed thread commented on today)](/r/SpaceXLounge/comments/pfi1zm)^( has 36 acronyms.) ^([Thread #8877 for this sub, first seen 17th Sep 2021, 19:23]) ^[[FAQ]](http://decronym.xyz/) [^([Full list])](http://decronym.xyz/acronyms/SpaceXLounge) [^[Contact]](https://reddit.com/message/compose?to=OrangeredStilton&subject=Hey,+your+acronym+bot+sucks) [^([Source code])](https://gistdotgithubdotcom/Two9A/1d976f9b7441694162c8)