SpaceX seeks permit to launch rockets into orbit from Boca Chica

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SpaceX is asking the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to launch rockets into orbit from Boca Chica.

SpaceX currently is allowed to launch rockets up to 18 miles into the atmosphere.

To launch rockets into orbit, however, SpaceX needs a new permit.

That permit requires a wide-ranging review by the FAA, which will assess public safety concerns, national security and foreign policy implications, SpaceX's insurance policies and environmental impacts.

"There are really unique ecological features out near Boca Chica beach, particularly the lomas, that are really important for wildlife because of the habitat that they provide," said Patrick Anderson of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Sierra Club.

The noise and crowds from rocket launches could scare away endangered ocelots, Kemp's ridley sea turtles and other wildlife.

The FAA will accept public comments until Jan. 21.

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