From NASA’s long term road map for Kennedy,
Capitalism in space: SpaceX has submitted a new proposal for building several launchpads at the Kennedy Space Center for its Starship heavy lift rocket, including rebuilding one old pad (LC-39A) and building another at a new site (the never used LC-49).
The project for LC-49 comes in addition to the previously announced work that SpaceX began within the perimeter of Launch Complex 39A, the K Environmental Program Office said. In September 2019, an environmental assessment was completed and a finding of “no significant impact” was issued.
Musk confirmed via Twitter on Dec. 3 that construction of SpaceX’s Starship orbital launch pad at LC-39A was underway. “Construction of Starship orbital launch pad at the Cape has begun”.
The KEP [Kennedy Environmental Program] office noted that this new proposed expansion would allow for not only redundancy with launches of Starship, but also “allow SpaceX to increase the flight rate of Starship and minimize potential disruptions to Falcon, Falcon Heavy and Dragon missions at LC-39A.”
LC-49 is a 175 acre area just north of LC-39B, the launchpad NASA plans to use for its SLS rocket.
It also appears that SpaceX plans on creating a new Starship orbital launchpad at LC-39A that will not impact the use of that site by Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, though in the long run launches of those latter rockets will decrease as Starship becomes operational.
All these plans will need a full environmental assessment, but according to the article at the link, the process will be different than at Boca Chica in Texas.
The [environmental assessment]process likely won’t involve live discussions with the public, according to [Don Dankert, the technical lead for the Kennedy Environmental Planning Office], but the public will get comparable information, like with an EIS [Environmental Impact Statement]. “We will put out the same information,” Dankert said. “We’ll put out an informational packet with a .PDF chart, a description of the project and instructions on how to provide comments back to us and SpaceX.”
Engler said there may also be some lessons learned from the process of getting the launch facilities at Starbase approved for an orbital launch, but how that crossover would work has yet to be determined.
Sounds to me that this is all a pointless paperwork dance. The construction will be approved, no matter what, because Florida and Cape Canaveral desperately wants this new business and the jobs and tax dollars it will bring to the state.
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