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.


 
 

 
NASA, ESA, PSI, JHU/APL, STScI/AURA image

Close encounters: Comet Siding Spring seen next to Mars

NASA, ESA, PSI, JHU/APL, STScI/AURA image This composite NASA Hubble Space Telescope Image captures the positions of comet Siding Spring and Mars in a never-before-seen close passage of a comet by the Red Planet, which happened...
 
 

NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly shares bullying prevention message ahead of one-year mission

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who is scheduled to fly on a one-year spaceflight mission in 2015, is lending his voice to help reduce childhood bullying. As part of Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, Kelly recorded a special message encouraging bystanders to take action. “Be more than just a bystander,” said Kelly in the message. “Take action...
 
 

NASA seeks ultra-lightweight materials to help enable journey to Mars

NASA is seeking proposals to develop and manufacture ultra-lightweight materials for aerospace vehicles and structures of the future. Proposals will demonstrate lower-mass alternatives to honeycomb or foam cores currently used in composite sandwich structures. Composite sandwich structures are a special type of material made by attaching two thin skins to a lightweight core. This type...
 

 

Boeing concludes commercial crew space act agreement for CST-100/Atlas V

Boeing has successfully completed the final milestone of its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability Space Act Agreement with NASA. The work and testing completed under the agreement resulted in significant maturation of Boeing’s crew transportation system, including the CST-100 spacecraft and Atlas V rocket. NASA in July approved the Critical Design Review Board milestone for Boeing’...
 
 

NASA partners with leading technology innovators to enable future exploration

Recognizing that technology drives exploration, NASA has selected four teams of agency technologists for participation in the Early Career Initiative pilot program. The program encourages creativity and innovation among early career NASA technologists by engaging them in hands-on technology development opportunities needed for future missions. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate c...
 
 

New commercial rocket descent data may help NASA with future Mars landings

NASA successfully captured thermal images of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on its descent after it launched in September from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The data from these thermal images may provide critical engineering information for future missions to the surface of Mars. “Because the technologies required to land large payloads on Mars...
 




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>