SpaceX draft assessment released

A view of SpaceX build faciliity at Boca Chica, Texas Thursday afternoon along Texas State Highway 4. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

The Federal Aviation Administration today released a draft programmatic environmental assessment of SpaceX’s future plans for Starship/Super Heavy development at Boca Chica, with a 30-day window for public review and comment.

In the draft PEA, the FAA states its Proposed Action and preferred alternative “is to issue one or more experimental permits and/or a vehicle operator license(s) to SpaceX.” This would allow the company to launch and land Starship/Super Heavy. The FAA noted that SpaceX’s plans to use Starship/Super Heavy for low-Earth orbit, sun-synchronous orbit, geostationary transfer orbit, and interplanetary missions for people and cargo.

The other alternative the FAA evaluated was to deny SpaceX the permits, though the PEA does not propose this “no action” alternative.

The FAA plans to hold virtual public hearings Oct. 6-7 as part of the 30-day public comment period, which ends Oct. 18. Comments or questions on the draft PEA can be addressed to Stacey Zee, SpaceX PEA, c/o ICF, 9300 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22031. Comments can also be submitted via email to [email protected]

The draft PEA is available online at

Hard copies of the draft PEA are on display at the Brownsville Public Library Main Branch, 2600 Central Blvd, Brownsville Public Library Southmost Branch, 4320 Southmost Rd., and the Cameron County judge’s office in the Dancy Building, 1100 E. Monroe St., Brownsville.

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