SpaceX’s Static Fire Test At Starbase Burned 68 Acres Of Protected Refuge In Texas

A static fire test at SpaceX Starbase started a grass fire that led to burning of 68 acres of brush at a protected refuge in Boca Chica, Texas.

The aerospace firm conducted the test for its prototype of Starship and lit all six boosters. However, the fire extended to the nearby Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area–a refuge area meant to preserve native brush nesting habitat, some farmland and wetlands for white-winged doves. It is part of the larger Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge that was federally established “for the development, advancement, management, conservation, and protection of fish and wildlife resources…”

The static test led to a brush fire that burned a portion of the 3,311-acre protected refuge and reportedly lasted for five hours.

Wildlife biologist Stephanie Bilodeau with the Coastal Best Bays and Estuaries Program said she found several dead crabs and destroyed vegetation following the grass fire.

“It is a concern and I do think SpaceX has some mitigation in regard to this to make sure that this isn’t a regularly occurring thing because small fires out there can very quickly turn into large fires,” she told local TV outfit KGRV.

While it isn’t a direct comment on the matter, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted about the static fire test shortly after the incident, highlighting the importance of conducting the procedure.

For Twitter user @ESGhound, the issue at hand is not the wildfire that was caused but rather the ineffectual conduct to prevent a situation like this to happen.

“Again, the argument against Starbase was never that Spaceflight shouldn’t happen. Rather: SpaceX’s site was inadequately sized and situated to minimize environmental externalities and that those impacts were not properly disclosed. This is evidence of that argument being correct,” he tweeted.

Information for this briefing was found via the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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