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Federal authorities in the United States will look into the possible effects of a failed rocket launch by SpaceX on the planned construction of liquid natural gas export terminals located in Texas.
On 1 September, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded prior to a routine pre-flight ignition test at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The incident occurred on the eastern coast of the peninsula, but SpaceX is sending rockets into orbit from the same area along the Texas coast that LNG shippers are hoping to use to export shale gas overseas.
As a result, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has requested shippers to hire experts that could determine if there’s any effect between the launch explosion and their plans for LNG.
According to correspondence sent to developers on 27 October, the FERC noted that there are “possible siting concerns posed from potential failed rocket launches.” As a result, “we have determined that more information" is necessary, the FERC said.
LNG developers Texas LNG Brownsville, Annova LNG and Rio Grande LNG didn’t respond to Bloomberg’s requests for comment on the matter. Yet in an e-mailed statement, SpaceX said it values the coordination between the Federal Aviation Administration and the FERC “to protect public safety and resolve any issues related to the proximity” of the launch complex to other facilities.
As the probe continues to look into the cause of the failed launch last September, SpaceX reportedly plans to start test-firing rockets later in November, and also wants to return to active launches prior to the end of this year.
By Erwin Cifuentes for Oilprice.com
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Erwin Cifuentes is a Contributing Editor for Southern Pulse Info where he focuses on politics, economics and security issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.…