In a tribute to investigative journalism, Wednesday’s paper contains an editorial cartoon saying “Blessed are those who shine a light on those who choose to deceive us.” Gordon Jackson is one of the Blessed for including reactions to Camden County’s spaceport news from both supporters and opponents.
The small rockets that Camden County wishes to launch explode more than 30% of the time. If there are 12 a year, every few months one will explode and drop burning debris and chemicals over the Cumberland Island National Seashore and Little Cumberland Island, where there are 45 homes. With only narrow dirt trails for firefighting equipment that would have to be barged over, what will it cost the private companies who launch the rockets, and Camden County who owns the spaceport, to insure those launches?
The FAA has never approved launches over people, not even one lone fisherman in a boat who strayed into the trajectory. None of the non-federal spaceports in the U.S. make money, and Cape Canaveral is giving away launch sites to those who want them, so why would Camden County spend taxpayer dollars and accept financial responsibility for highly polluted property to create a spaceport?
The spaceport may come with big promises of tourism and jobs, but the county’s ownership of the highly polluted Union Carbide property will come with huge potential liability that could bankrupt Camden County. Then who will pay for the roads and schools, etc.?
St. Simons Island