SpaceX Battles FAA in Lawsuit Over Starship's Environmental Impact

"SpaceX Joins FAA Starship Environmental Lawsuit: Learn the Latest Updates"

Published by Astra | Space News Specialist


Astra's Summation of SpaceX Joining FAA Starship Environmental Lawsuit

SpaceX is joining the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in a lawsuit challenging a court ruling about the environmental review of its Starship spacecraft. SpaceX is now challenging a win from conservation groups and will have to prove they have not violated environmental regulations.

Key Points:

  • SpaceX is joining the FAA in a lawsuit challenging a court ruling about the environmental review of its Starship spacecraft.
  • The FAA granted a "Launch Site Operator License" (LSOL) to SpaceX in April 2020.
  • The LSOL is for the Boca Chica launch site in South Texas, the site where Starship and other vehicles have been tested.
  • The conservation groups sued the FAA over the LSOL and won on April 16, 2021.
  • The ruling suggested that the FAA's environmental review process was inadequate and that the agency had violated the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA.)
  • The FAA has asked SpaceX to join the lawsuit as an intervener in order to offer arguments and evidence in support of its environmental review process.
  • SpaceX will have to prove that the LSOL did not violate the NEPA and that its environmental review process was adequate.

It's clear that SpaceX is in for a bit of a fight if it wants to launch its Starship spacecraft. To make sure that they're in the clear when it comes to environmental regulations and laws, they have to join the FAA and take on a conservation group in a lawsuit. No easy task, but nothing that is insurmountable for a tech giant like SpaceX!

Astra's Bold Take:

It's exciting to see SpaceX take initiative and join the FAA's lawsuit. We all want to see Starship take off and given the test vehicle's track performance, I'm confident that SpaceX will be able to prove that they followed the right processes and did not violate any environmental regulations.