Environmental groups take legal action after SpaceX rocket explosion

Sylvie Claire / May 3,  2023

Associations announced Monday to sue the U.S. aviation regulator, which they accused of having misjudged the environmental impact of the new rocket of SpaceX, Starship, a copy of which exploded in flight two weeks ago in Texas.
On April 20, Elon Musk's company launched Starship for the first time, but the rocket encountered anomalies, forcing SpaceX to activate the self-destruct command, which triggered its explosion over the sea after about four minutes of flight.
A complaint was filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., by several organizations, including the Center for Biological Diversity and the American Bird Conservancy.
"The launch site is next to habitats of protected species and migratory birds, such as Kemp's ridley turtles and piping plovers," the Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement, noting that the test had "sprayed the surrounding area with fine particles. »
The organization also cited the noise and light pollution associated with the space base, as well as the fire starts caused.
The April 20 test flight caused a fire on about 1.5 acres in Boca Chica Regional Park, south of the launch site, according to the federal Fish and Wildlife Service.
"The aftermath of the launch included numerous pieces of concrete, steel plates, metals and other objects thrown hundreds of meters, and a cloud of pulverized concrete deposited material" up to more than 10 km northwest of the launch pad, federal officials detailed.
However, no animals have been found dead on the lands managed by these services, they added in a statement sent to AFP.
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