Last night the FAA held a hearing in Van Horn, Texas on the draft environmental assessment of the proposed private spaceport being developed in west Texas by Blue Origin. Alan Boyle of MSNBC offers an account of a event where not much happened. About half of the 40 people who attended actually came from out of town (including conference organizers and journalists), and only three people made comments during the hearing: two locals who supported the venture and Boyle himself, who posed several questions about the project to company officials in attendance. This suggests that Blue Origin may get the required FAA approvals—an experimental permit for flight tests and a spaceport license—within a few months.
And about the site itself? The location is still off-limits to the public, although Boyle reports that from the vantage point of the highway that passes closest to the site, “Earth-moving equipment, trucks and even a bus could be seen stirring up dust on Tuesday.”