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Big delay for Elon Musk led SpaceX? Permit review for Texas launch site halted

SpaceX’s application for an enlargement of its South Texas launch site was suspended by the U.S. Army Corps, one other potential delay for Elon Musk’s aerospace company.

SpaceX’s application for an enlargement of its South Texas launch site was suspended by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after the company failed to supply requested info, one other potential delay for Elon Musk’s aerospace company.

The Army Corps knowledgeable SpaceX in a letter dated March 7 that it has closed the review of an application for a secondary launch and touchdown pad, together with different launch help infrastructure, for the Boca Chica site.

“Without the requested information, the permit process cannot continue,” Lynda Yezzi, public affairs chief for the Army Corps, Galveston District, mentioned Wednesday in an e mail to Bloomberg.

The course of will be re-initiated as soon as the info is submitted, based on the letter. SpaceX and Musk didn’t instantly reply to emails looking for touch upon the allow course of.

The launch agency, formally referred to as Space Exploration Technologies Corp., is setting up its reusable Starship rocket system on the Texas location close to the Gulf of Mexico and the U.S. border, the place it additionally desires to launch the large new spaceship, the most important in industrial house historical past.

SpaceX filed a request in December 2020 to amend its present wetlands allow for the Boca Chica site, which it obtained in 2015. The company has grown considerably on the site over the previous seven years, with a number of buildings and huge tents housing analysis, engineering, fabrication and meeting work. SpaceX has additionally staged a number of high-altitude take a look at flights there as it really works to organize Starship for orbital testing.

In its letter, the Army Corps listed among the info officers are looking for. They embrace “the presence, quantity and quality or function of wetlands and/or other waters of the United States” and any impacts related to SpaceX’s plans; knowledge on endangered or threatened species; and any historic properties on the site “eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.”

The Federal Aviation Administration can be conducting a separate environmental review of SpaceX’s plans for the site — an space essential to fish and wildlife — and has delayed its report a number of occasions. The company plans to launch its findings by April 29.

A coalition of environmentalists and different teams have opposed the launch site, citing impacts to wildlife and public security.

In February, Musk mentioned that the company would launch Starship from its Cape Canaveral, Florida, site if regulators don’t approve its Texas plans. The company makes use of that site for present Falcon 9 rocket launches and has all of the regulatory approvals it wants there, Musk mentioned.

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