Rocket-Junk Found on Cumberland Island

Large parts of a SpaceX rocket have been found on Cumberland Island. The debris, which weighed more than 1,000 pounds, has been discretely removed from Cumberland Island National Seashore. The discovery of rocket debris was not publicly reported by officials.

The Launch Danger Zone "LDZ"

The Launch Danger Zone is the area downrange from the launch site that is cleared of people, boats and airplanes for several hours before any rocket launch...

Safe and Competitive?

Camden County insists that their spaceport would have available trajectories that offer "direct access to an orbital inclination as large as any launch site in the United States", but they show only a very narrow 'keyhole' launch lane over the least populated area of Cumberland and Little Cumberland islands. The over 30 Kennedy/Canaveral launches since 2013 have used launch trajectories on bearings from 48 degrees to 110 degrees, while Spaceport Camden's approximte 122 degree keyhole launch lane does not represent even a single equivalent trajectory. Assuming that the FAA might allow such a route over private property for the first time in history, how could Camden County expect a severely constrained launch lane to be economically feasible and competitive?

Better Not Assume That Spaceships are Designed for Safety

In the rush to Space Tourism, even the FAA does not provide the protections that the public expects and assumes are in place. When SpaceshipTwo broke apart in a mid-air test flight, the pilots had no ejector seats or an ejectable capsule with its own parachute. There are none of these items available for future passengers, either.

 

However, it is important to note that Virgin Galactic broke no laws nor defied any safety regulations by dispensing with any means for crew and passengers to “abort, escape or both.”

 

“Recommended practices” are just that, recommended.

So NOISE CAN be a Nuisance!

Representative Jason Spencer introduced a bill in the Georgia Legislature that would have provides a liability shield for spaceflight operators and their suppliers from claims for noise. The purpose of the bill was to lower the legal and insurance costs for operators so that Georgia is competitive with other States. Is that really the State of Georgia's responsibility to its Camden citizens?

A rocket carrying a US communication satellite went off course seconds after launch in China. The result was the worst civilian casualty accident in commercial launch history. The accident shows that the 'impossible' has happened. In fact, every US spaceport, and most in the world, have had catastrophic accidents. That is why vertical launch spaceports in the US have been located immediately adjacent to the ocean and why they cannot launch over populated areas.

Confronting the Inevitable Risks of Space Travel

“Spaceflight is tough. They don’t call it rocket science for nothing,” Alan Stern, a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute and the lead scientist for the New Horizons probe

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