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FAA to Hold Public Hearing on Texas Spaceport

Tuesday, May 7, 2013  |  Updated 4:54 AM CDT
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FAA to Hold Public Hearing on Texas Spaceport

AP

The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from space launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. Similar launches could occur in Texas if the spaceport is approved. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

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The Federal Aviation Administration will gather public comment on a draft environmental study of a proposal to launch rockets from the southernmost tip of Texas.

The public hearing Tuesday evening follows the release last month of the draft environmental impact statement. It centers on California-based SpaceX's plan to launch as many as 12 rockets a year from a site surrounded by a federal wildlife refuge near Boca Chica Beach, east of Brownsville.

The draft study found that the launches would "adversely affect" but not significantly disrupt endangered species if steps are taken to mitigate the effects.

Officials will take the comments and incorporate them into any changes necessary before a final report comes out. The process is a necessary step toward the FAA licensing of SpaceX to launch rockets there.

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