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Musk’s SpaceX Clears FAA Hurdle for Expanded Launches at Texas Facility

  • FAA requires more than 75 actions to ease environmental impact
  • Starship rocket moves closer to routine blast-offs in Texas
SpaceX's Starship rocket at the Starbase facility near Boca Chica, Texas, on Feb. 10.

SpaceX's Starship rocket at the Starbase facility near Boca Chica, Texas, on Feb. 10.

Photographer: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
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Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. cleared a major hurdle toward routine launches of its massive Starship rocket from a Texas facility.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday said the expanded launch site near the Gulf of Mexico in southern Texas would meet federal environmental requirements once SpaceX takes more than 75 measures to address the impact on fish, wildlife and plants. Those steps include monitoring by a qualified biologist and advance notification to surrounding communities about potential engine noise and sonic booms from launches. Opponents had argued the facility endangered fragile wetlands and wildlife.