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Environmentalists Sweat Texas Spaceport Proposal

SpaceX looking to build launch site on Boca Chica Beach

Monday, Sep 10, 2012  |  Updated 10:22 AM CDT
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Environmentalists Sweat Texas Spaceport

AP

This computer generated image provided by SpaceX shows their Dragon spacecraft with solar panels deployed. The world's first private supply ship flew tantalizingly close to the International Space Station on Thursday, May 24, 2012 but did not stop, completing a critical test in advance of the actual docking scheduled for Friday, May 25, 2012. (AP Photo/SpaceX)

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A rocket launch site proposed for a South Texas Gulf Coast beach is drawing grumbles from environmental activists as federal officials prepare an environmental impact statement on the proposal.

The FAA can grant or refuse SpaceX its license for a Cameron County launch site space center on Boca Chica Beach, between Padre Island and the mouth of the Rio Grande.

The Brownsville Herald reports South Texas conservation groups have expressed concern for such a project to be developed on a site surrounded by a wildlife refuge and adjacent to a beach where endangered sea turtles nest.

SpaceX, formally named Space Exploration Technologies Corp., has not chosen a site yet for its planned spaceport. However, spokeswoman Kirstin Brost Grantham assures that it is keenly sensitive to environmental demands.

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