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Environment groups sue FAA over SpaceX's explosive test launch

Environmental and animal rights groups say the FAA didn't do enough to understand the impacts of SpaceX's test launches.
Environment groups sue FAA over SpaceX's explosive test launch
Posted at 8:30 PM, May 01, 2023

The Center for Biological Diversity and other environmental rights groups have sued the Federal Aviation Administration over its approval of SpaceX's Starship rocket launch on April 20 in Texas.

The plaintiffs say the FAA failed to "fully consider" the environmental ramifications of SpaceX's Starship program. They want the FAA to pull SpaceX's license for launches, which was issued in April and is good for five years.

The first test flight of Starship ended in a self-destruct explosion after the rocket went out of control. 

SEE MORE: SpaceX's Starship rocket explodes minutes into flight

The Super Heavy first stage, which is designed for more than twice the thrust of the moon rockets of the Apollo program, also destroyed its launchpad during liftoff. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service told SpaceNews that parts of the launch pad wound up thousands of feet away. The agency also said debris from the self-destructed rocket ultimately scattered over 385 acres. 

There were no crew or satellites on the spacecraft, and there was no significant damage and no reports of human injuries from flight debris. The FWS says there hasn't been evidence that wildlife was harmed.

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said if the FAA approves a second launch, a new rocket could be ready for liftoff in as little as six weeks.


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