Space

May 10, 2012

FAA issues OK for SpaceShipTwo flights from Mojave

by Raphael Jaffe
Staff Writer

SpaceShipTwo mated to its carrier launch aircraft, WhiteKnightTwo.

May 4, the FAA Office of commercial Space Flight issued a finding of ‘no significant effects’ to the environment connected with up to 30 total launches and reentries per year of SpaceShipTwo, for a total of up to 150 launches and reentries of SpaceShipTwo between 2012 and 2016.

This estimation is a conservative number and considers potential multiple launches per day and potential launch aborts.

The FAA would issue experimental permits and/or launch licenses for the operation of SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo at the Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, Calif. The Mojave Air and Space Port’s existing infrastructure would be used for takeoff and landing activities. Experimental permits would be valid for one year. Launch licenses would be valid for two years.

An analysis of the Proposed Action has concluded that there would be no significant short-term, long-term or cumulative effects to the environment or surrounding populations. Therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Action is not required.

The agency issued its finding in a new report, “Final Environmental Assessment for the Launch and Reentry of SpaceShipTwo Reusable Suborbital Rockets at the Mojave Air and Space Port and Finding of No Significant Impact.” The report is available on the Internet.

The FAA published a Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment in the Federal Register March 13, 2012, which started a 30-day public review and comment period. Interested parties were invited to submit comments on environmental issues and concerns. The public comment period ended April 13, 2012. The FAA did not receive any public comments on the Draft EA. No substantive changes have been made to this Final EA.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Northrop Grumman’s AstroMesh reflector successfully deploys for NASA’s SMAP satellite

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory successfully deployed the mesh reflector and boom aboard the Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft, a key milestone on its mission to provide global measurements of soil moisture. Launched Jan. 31, SMAP represents the future of Earth Science by helping researchers better understand our planet. SMAP’s unmatched data capabilities are enabled...
 
 
NASA photograph by Brian Tietz

NASA offers space tech grants to early career university faculty

NASA photograph by Brian Tietz Tensegrity research is able to simulate multiple forms of locomotion. In this image, a prototype tensegrity robot reproduces forward crawling motion. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Director...
 
 

NASA releases first global rainfall, snowfall map from new mission

Like a lead violin tuning an orchestra, the GPM Core Observatory – launched one year ago on Feb. 27, 2014, as a collaboration between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency – acts as the standard to unify precipitation measurements from a network of 12 satellites. The result is NASA’s Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM...
 

 

New NASA Earth Science Missions expand view of our home planet

Four new NASA Earth-observing missions are collecting data from space with a fifth newly in orbit ñ after the busiest year of NASA Earth science launches in more than a decade. On Feb. 27, 2014, NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched the Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory into space from Japan. Data from...
 
 

NASA, ESA telescopes give shape to furious black hole winds

NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and ESA’s (European Space Agency) XMM-Newton telescope are showing that fierce winds from a supermassive black hole blow outward in all directions – a phenomenon that had been suspected, but difficult to prove until now. This discovery has given astronomers their first opportunity to measure the strength of these...
 
 
NASA photograph by Gary Banziger

Jurczyk named head of NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate

NASA photograph by Gary Banziger NASA’s Steve Jurczyck addresses an audience during a manufacturing event in Hampton, Va., last month. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has named Steve Jurczyk as the agency’s Associ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>