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Local judge blocks Camden spacesport

Capitalism in space? Almost immediately after the FAA last week issued a launch license for the proposed commercial spaceport in Camden, Georgia, a judge in the state courts issued an injunction blocking it.

The order and request for an interlocutory injunction was filed last week by Camden residents James Goodman and Paul Harris. Camden County Superior Court Judge Stephen G. Scarlett granted the restraining order on Tuesday and scheduled a hearing on the injunction for Jan. 5.

This order prevents the spaceport, being developed by the county itself, from purchasing any additional land for the project.

Meanwhile, a petition to force a referendum for or against the land purchase has obtained enough signatures. They needed 3,400 signatures — 10% of the registered voters of Camden county — and obtained 3,800. Those signatures are presently being verified by the county probate court, which has until mid-February to complete its work. If a special election is then called, it likely won’t occur before the middle of 2022.

It is perfectly legitimate for the citizens of the county to express their opposition to such a project. And if in a special election a majority disapprove, then it is perfectly correct for the county’s effort to be shut down.

This opposition however gives us a peek into the modern culture of America, hostile to innovation and new businesses, and willing to use the government aggressively to prevent it. Whether that hostility is felt by the majority in Camden County is at present unknown, though the success of the petition suggests it is. The special election will tell us.

I predict however that if the special election comes down in favor of the spaceport, the opposition will not accept that result, and will then move to find other legalities that they can enlist the government to use to block the project.

This project is beginning to remind me of Hawaii and the Thirty Meter Telescope, which has been effectively blocked from construction by what appears to be a very small number of radical protesters.

Conscious Choice cover

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From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
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  • Joe

    Their county, their rights, their responsibilities. If the voters say no, then that is that.

  • JhonB

    I am a pro space guy, but I would have to look long and hard if they wanted to build a space port in my town. The occasional launch noise would not bother (Well maybe at 3:00 AM), and the environmental issues I know would be covered. I have no clue of what this might bring to my community that may disturb my daily routine.
    But, I would still be open to it, but I would listen to both sides before making my decision.

  • Jeff Wright

    The rocket site is back from the coast…though NIMBYs war against airports too. The rock worshipers in Hawaii I have even less use for. Adam Corolla was right about them.

  • Jeff C

    People sure are quick to fire off the NIMBY slur without knowing a thing about a local situation. I don’t know anything about this spaceport proposal, but the locals are the ones who will have to deal with the fallout and it’s their decision. One thing I’m absolutely positive of is that those who will personally benefit from it are downplaying the negative consequences.

  • Jerome Berryhill

    “This opposition however gives us a peek into the modern culture of America, hostile to innovation and new businesses, and willing to use the government aggressively to prevent it.”

    As opposed to the people trying to build this boondoggle, who have no qualms about using the tax power of government to finance their hobby. Has it ever occurred to you that NASA is welfare for engineers?

  • Jerome Berryhill wrote, “Has it ever occurred to you that NASA is welfare for engineers?”

    I must admit I laughed out loud when I read this. You might want to read a bit more on my webpage. You might find that I agree with you wholeheartedly.

  • Edward

    Jerome Berryhill asked: “Has it ever occurred to you that NASA is welfare for engineers?

    To be clear: this is one of the reasons why it is so good that we are finally getting commercial companies doing the things that NASA has done in the past. When NASA does things in space, all we get is what Congress wants. When We the People do things in space, we get what we want.

    In the past decade, with space becoming more commercialized, we are beginning to get the things that we want. We should get a lot more of it by the end of this decade. Launches to space are becoming more affordable, because commercial companies are doing it their own way, not NASA’s way. Satellites are getting smaller and more affordable, and they are doing the things that we want done, because it is we who can now afford to make them and to put them up. These companies are productive and adding to our prosperity, and they do not use taxpayer money.

    The Camden Spaceport would add to the ability of commercial companies to get to space, but it would not add to NASA’s abilities, as NASA uses its own facilities.

    Sadly, SLS is expensive because Congress required that it use Space Shuttle parts made from the same companies that were employed to keep the Shuttle flying. Congress didn’t want those jobs to disappear with the end of the Space Shuttle project. SLS is too expensive to be very productive or to add much to our prosperity.

  • Jeff Wright

    Unlike crackheads on the dole-I would prefer my tax dollars go to engineers-we got a seven to one return on Apollo..

    I do hope we see Florida’s ‘Horizontal Launch’ area used for that one day. A spaceplane might have spooked locals less.

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