WASHINGTON — Details about a launch facility Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) is considering building in Texas emerged April 9 in a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) document detailing an environmental review that must precede construction.
The proposed launch site would be used “to launch orbital and suborbital launch vehicles from a private site in Cameron County in southern Texas,” according to the FAA’s notice of its intent to prepare an environmental impact statement. All launches from the proposed spaceport would fly east over the Gulf of Mexico, the document said.
The proposed facility would be built to handle up to 12 commercial launches a year and would support SpaceX’s Falcon 9 medium rocket and the company’s planned Falcon Heavy launcher for which SpaceX has no paying customers. Falcon 9 launches from the proposed facility would include launches of the Dragon space capsule, which SpaceX plans to begin launching this year from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., to fly cargo to the international space station under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA.
The FAA document is to be printed in the federal register on April 10, according to a prepublication copy posted on federalregister.gov.