Author Topic: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 1  (Read 145703 times)

Online sdsds

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #435 on: 06/01/2012 07:54 PM »
In the world of wildlife management they use the phrase "taking by harassment" when an activity, intentionally or not, harms a population of animals. I hope that, compared to Vandenberg, Boca Chica has relatively few pinnipeds.  See:
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pdfs/permits/vafb_ea.pdf
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Online simonbp

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #436 on: 06/01/2012 08:11 PM »
KSC launched much larger rockets from the middle of the Merritt Island wildlife refuge and their creatures seem to be fine with it.

Indeed. And considering most of the industry on the gulf coast is of a chemical processing nature, I doubt that a hydrocarbon rocket launch site is going to be a real concern for EPA or the state (after the due diligence is satisfied, of course).

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #437 on: 06/01/2012 08:13 PM »
If I understand correctly, you can haze to change behavior, but not harass wildlife. At least that is the rule when dealing with our local coyote population.
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Online peter-b

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #438 on: 06/01/2012 09:14 PM »
Environmental group starts petition drive to stop SpaceX Texas launch site:

http://www.environmenttexas.org/news/txe/spacex-attempting-launch-rockets-texas-wildlife-refuge
Well, that was predictable.  ::)
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Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #439 on: 06/01/2012 10:02 PM »
There are no other sites available for polar launches and KSC/CCAFS was set up for the Cold war. The issue here is that there are other alternatives to this site.  Spacex is going to have to try really hard to justify its flight rate predictions that necessitate another launch site.  Just because the USAF might be a little difficult to deal with and a few times a year, other launches may interrupt ops at CCAFS is not enough justification to "take" wildlife.

When doing an EA, one of the steps in the process is to describe what are the alternatives if no action is taken.  For example, MSL would not launch and there would be a limited ability to explore Mars without the use of RTGs.  NASA science missions have done a 10 year EA, and the impact of no action would be that NASA would no longer do space, climate, and planetary science.

In Spacex's case, a no action would mean Spacex would continue to launch from CCAFS at a possible slower rate (not a give).  That in the eyes of those who embrace conifers is the preferred outcome of an assessment.

Online peter-b

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #440 on: 06/01/2012 10:06 PM »
In Spacex's case, a no action would mean Spacex would continue to launch from CCAFS at a possible slower rate (not a give).  That in the eyes of those who embrace conifers is the preferred outcome of an assessment.

What's going on with LC36A/B at the moment? As far as I can tell they're currently inactive.

Edit: And LC 17A/B? It seems like there are several pads at the Cape that SpaceX could in principle make use of...
« Last Edit: 06/01/2012 10:09 PM by peter-b »
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Offline astrobrian

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #441 on: 06/02/2012 01:47 AM »
Environmental group starts petition drive to stop SpaceX Texas launch site:

http://www.environmenttexas.org/news/txe/spacex-attempting-launch-rockets-texas-wildlife-refuge

Quote
But launching big, loud, smelly rockets from the middle of a wildlife refuge will scare the heck out of every creature within miles...

KSC launched much larger rockets from the middle of the Merritt Island wildlife refuge and their creatures seem to be fine with it.

I fully agree with you, and apologize on behalf of Austin for the crazies trying to stop this from happening.  It's not the first environmental dispute to halt progress around here.   Golden cheeked warbler anyone?
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Offline jnc

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #442 on: 06/02/2012 03:35 AM »
It's not the first environmental dispute to halt progress around here. Golden cheeked warbler anyone?

The thing that really drives me bonkers about the Endangered Species Act is that it gives no cognizance at all to the fact that ~99% (if not more) of the species that have gone extinct .... did so before humans ever arrived on the scene. So clearly, some goodly fraction of the ones going extinct today are not doing so because of humans. If there's some species we want to save because they look cute (e.g. pandas), or for some other reason, fine - but trying to save them all is, frankly, hubristic and interefering with the course of nature.

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Offline sfjcody_

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #443 on: 06/02/2012 03:45 AM »
The current rate of extinction is estimated to be as much as 10,000 times the normal background rate. Make of that what you will.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction
« Last Edit: 06/02/2012 03:46 AM by sfjcody_ »

Offline mrhuggy

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #444 on: 06/02/2012 12:45 PM »
In Spacex's case, a no action would mean Spacex would continue to launch from CCAFS at a possible slower rate (not a give).  That in the eyes of those who embrace conifers is the preferred outcome of an assessment.

What's going on with LC36A/B at the moment? As far as I can tell they're currently inactive.

Edit: And LC 17A/B? It seems like there are several pads at the Cape that SpaceX could in principle make use of...

LC-17 will be shutdown once Delta ops are finished there as it is too close to Port Canaveral and the Museum.

LC-36 site was transferred to Spaceport Florida, Masten Aerospace are going  using it for some sub orbital flights. But it looks like to be available to be used as a launch site. Masten Sign Contract for LC-36
« Last Edit: 06/02/2012 12:48 PM by mrhuggy »
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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #445 on: 06/02/2012 01:08 PM »
Guys, keep this on the launch site info, and not to wander off into the Endangered Species Act.
 

Offline mduncan36

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #446 on: 06/02/2012 01:57 PM »
I know my own eyes will hardly count as a scientific study but KSC and it's surrounding environs would seem to easily refute any questions this petition raises. (How scientific are petitions anyway?) You can't even take the bus tour through KSC without encountering 'gators, skunks, eagles, and every other kind of winged and footed wildlife. If anything they prosper from living in an area that is protected from tourists. 

Those who think Spacex is getting ahead of the curve should realize that years of obstacles like this will be waiting for any potential location outside of an established base.
« Last Edit: 06/02/2012 01:58 PM by mduncan36 »

Offline brtbrt

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #447 on: 06/02/2012 02:46 PM »
Folks, does anyone know if SpaceX considered Matagorda Island?

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Matagorda+Island,+Texas&hl=en&ll=28.274149,-96.596603&spn=0.393976,0.516014&sll=40.31733,-74.619879&sspn=0.085273,0.129004&t=h&geocode=Fb3SrQEdeeI7-g&hnear=Matagorda+Island&z=12

HMXHMX, would it be possible to launch FH from there? If so, desirable? If so, what would it take?

Online FinalFrontier

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #448 on: 06/02/2012 02:55 PM »
Folks, does anyone know if SpaceX considered Matagorda Island?

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Matagorda+Island,+Texas&hl=en&ll=28.274149,-96.596603&spn=0.393976,0.516014&sll=40.31733,-74.619879&sspn=0.085273,0.129004&t=h&geocode=Fb3SrQEdeeI7-g&hnear=Matagorda+Island&z=12

HMXHMX, would it be possible to launch FH from there? If so, desirable? If so, what would it take?


Probably not desirable. Range would include populated areas. Additionally, would require far more work to make the island usable and increase it's size as well as getting better roads out to it compared with other locations further down the coast.


I would know as I have fished right next to that island many times, and I can tell you, its very flat, swampy, and small. Large enough tides even cover over portions of it. The only area suitable would be near the old airstrip on the northern end, but even that becomes flooded in storms. And the soil is terrible as far as stability. Everything would have to be anchored in bedrock, everything.

So to make something like that usable for a launch pad and operations center? Very difficult.
« Last Edit: 06/02/2012 02:58 PM by FinalFrontier »
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Offline ChileVerde

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #449 on: 06/02/2012 07:02 PM »

Here's the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department letter; for the most part it seems to me to be raising the issues TPWD should be recommending the FAA EIS address.

In addition, it gives a helpful clue as to where the control center is proposed to be:

Quote
...the control center would be immediately adjacent to TPWD property along Eichorn Boulevard.

I.e., around 25.9915 N, 97.1795 W.  That was where I thought it might be on looking around earlier, but couldn't be sure enough to make a call.
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