Not only was Nov. 6 Election Day, but it was the ignoble third anniversary of the announcement in the Federal Register that Camden County was going to spend a rocket-load of money on its spaceport odyssey.
Six million dollars and three years later, the spaceport Environmental Impact Statement is now officially paused. Camden Commission chair Jimmy Starline says it’s the FAA “process,” but the FAA states it’s due to “project sponsor factors.” Whatever.
The public’s input and participation has temporarily stopped this ill-advised project that would have severe consequences for Camden and Glynn. We were promised by Camden’s spaceport consultant that rockets were 99.01 percent safe. But the Draft EIS had to admit a failure rate of up to 6 percent, which the FAA figures up to 93 percent for new rockets. That’s one launch failure every 17 months. Shockingly, the EIS failed to study the consequence of a rocket crash on Cumberland, Jekyll, or St. Andrews Sound although the National Environmental Protection Act requires it.
Meanwhile, Vector Space, the company that launched an amateur rocket from Camden in 2017 and promised us a rocket factory, hasn’t launched anything since. But Vector promised Kennedy, Va., and Alaska Vector rocket launches to orbit in 2018. The first won’t happen until next year, if then. Neither will the promised Florida rocket factory.
We just re-elected the politicians that continue to waste money on the spaceport that will never launch a rocket. Are they telling us they don’t have better uses for our taxes?