by Leslie Eastman at legalinsurrection.com
On the other hand, China is rolling right along with its long-range plans for a lunar mission.
The last time we checked in on SpaceX, its Starship had experienced a spectacular “flight termination” over Texas and engineers were pleased with the project’s progress, which is slated to be used for the upcoming lunar missions.
Environmentalists are suing the government for permitting the launch, asserting that the proper impact assessments were not done.
Conservation groups sued the Federal Aviation Administration on Monday, challenging its approval of expanded rocket launch operations by Elon Musk’s SpaceX next to a national wildlife refuge in South Texas without requiring greater environmental study.
The lawsuit comes 11 days after SpaceX made good on a new FAA license to send its next-generation Starship rocket on its first test flight, ending with the vehicle exploding over the Gulf of Mexico after blasting the launchpad to ruins on liftoff.
The shattering force of the launch hurled chunks of reinforced concrete and metal shrapnel thousands of feet from the site, adjacent to the Lower Rio Grand Valley National Wildlife Refuge near Boca Chica State Park and Beach.
The blast also ignited a 3.5-acre (1.4-hectare) brush fire and sent a cloud of pulverized concrete drifting 6.5 miles (10.5 km) to the northwest and raining down over tidal flats and the nearby town of Port Isabel, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Additionally, the launches are also getting in the way of indigenous ceremonies.
Such closures are a hardship for the native Carrizo/Comecrudo people, affecting their ability to hold ceremonies in the area, the lawsuit states.
“The Carrizo/Comecrudo people’s sacred lands are once again being threatened by imperialist policies that treat our cultural heritage as less valuable than corporate interests,” Juan Mancias, tribal chair of the Carrizo/Comecrudo Nation of Texas, Inc., said in the same statement.
“Boca Chica is central to our creation story,” Mancias added. “But we have been cut off from the land our ancestors lived on for thousands of years due to SpaceX, which is using our ancestral lands as a sacrifice zone for its rockets.”It appears that only now are activists really honing in and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and his plans for the area.