Blue Origin files public comment asking FAA to cap SpaceX launches

Credit: Blue Origin

The Jeff Bezos-owned space exploration company Blue Origin has filed its latest legal action against Elon Musk’s SpaceX, this time requesting that an airspace regulator limit the number of launches the Musk-led company can perform in Florida.

Blue Origin filed a public comment last week recommending that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) put a limit on how many launches SpaceX can perform with its Starship Super Heavy (Ss-SH) booster and rockets at Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The filing comes as a part of the ongoing preparations of a Proposed Action Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) from the regulator.

The company recommends the following mitigation method for SpaceX’s Starship launches, prior to the company being issued a Vehicle Operator License:

“Capping the rate of Ss-SH launch, landing, and other operations, including but not limited to test firings, transport operations, and fueling, to a number that has a minimal impact on the local environment, locally operating personnel, and the local community, in
consideration of all risks and impacts, including but not limited to anomaly risks, air toxin
and hazardous materials dispersion, road closures, and heat and noise generation.”

Along with requesting a max number of Starship launches at the site, Blue Origin argues that the government increase launch infrastructure that opens other launchpads to nearby lessees when roads are forced to be closed for SpaceX launches. The filing also notes that SpaceX has already received environmental testing at its Starbase site in Boca Chica, Texas.

The filing follows similar moves in past years, including in 2021, when Blue Origin sued NASA for awarding a lunar contract to SpaceX and not considering other alternatives. The suit was shot down by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, leaving the Human Landing System (HLS) and Artemis contract to SpaceX for the time being.

Last year, however, Blue Origin was officially granted the HLS contract, after it continued multiple avenues of legal action against the other companies being considered for the contract.

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Blue Origin files public comment asking FAA to cap SpaceX launches
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