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Another delay for SpaceX Texas space port environmental impact statement

SpaceX Falcon 9 in flight
SpaceX Falcon 9 in flight

Proving that the greatest barrier to the high frontier consists of government paperwork, the Brownsville Herald has an April 1, 2014 article reporting that the much anticipated FAA final environmental impact report concerning a proposed private space port in south Texas has been pushed back at least another month.

The preliminary report, issued a year ago, concluded that there were no environmental impacts that would cause the FAA to deny a permit for the space port, proposed by SpaceX. However there appear to be a number of issues that need ironing out before the final report is issued. The report was supposed to have been released late in 2013, then early in 2014, then in April, 2014. There is obviously no guarantee that the report will come out in May either.

Public officials are putting a happy face on the multiple delays and it has pointed out that government environmental impact statements can take as long as five years to issue.

In any case, SpaceX is expected to make a final decision on the Texas space port soon after the FAA issues its report. While a number of other locations, including Florida, are said to be in the running, the Texas location seems to be favored. A space port in south Texas would be under the sole control of SpaceX, unlike Florida where it would have to compete with NASA and the military for the launch range.

Should the Texas space port be built, SpaceX intends to launch a variety of government and commercial payloads with its Falcon 9 and the soon to be operational Falcon Heavy rockets.