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For Release: Oct. 8, 1996
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT PROCESS BEGINS FOR TEST FLIGHTS OF X-33 TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATOR, PUBLIC MEETINGS SCHEDULED
NASA Monday published in the Federal Register a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the development and testing of the X-33 Advanced Technology Demonstrator. As part of the process, NASA plans to hold public meetings to gather comments for the EIS on proposed flight test operations, and takeoff and landing sites.
The 273,000 pound, wedge-shaped X-33 is a prototype launch vehicle being developed under a cooperative agreement with NASA by Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, Palmdale, Calif. The X-33 is part of NASAs Reusable Launch Vehicle program.
As many as 15 flight tests of the X-33 are planned to originate from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and land at sites in Southern California, Utah, and Montana or Washington beginning in early 1999. The proposed short-range landing sites under study are Silurian Lake, Calif., and China Lake Naval Weapons Center, Calif. The midrange landing site under study is Michael Army Air Field at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. The long-range landing sites under study are Moses Lake, Wash., and Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.
Affected agencies and the public are encouraged to offer input to help identify and define any issues to be addressed in NASAs EIS analyses. The results of the analyses will be used in the decision-making process regarding the flight test program.
The EIS is being prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA, and NASA policy and regulations.
The formal public comment period ends Nov. 29, 1996; however, NASA will accept comments relevant to the analysis throughout the EIS process, which is expected to conclude in September 1997.
Written comments for inclusion in the final EIS may be mailed to:
Dr. Rebecca C. McCaleb, Director
Comments may be forwarded for the EIS by faxing to 205/544-8259, or Emailing to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments also may be provided by calling 1-800-833-0678 and leaving a message on the recording machine. NASA environmental officials will make their best effort to transcribe verbal comments; however, they cannot guarantee the same accuracy as receiving comments in writing.
The text of the NOI (Notice 96-118) can be accessed along with general information about the X-33 program at: http://rlv.msfc.nasa.gov.
The environmental documents also will be available for review at regional repositories listed in the NOI. A schedule of public meetings follows on the next page.
X-33 Public Meeting Schedule
Great Falls, Mont.
Moses Lake, Wash.
Salt Lake City
Note to Editors: Attached is a fact sheet on the X-33. For more information on the X-33 program, visit the programs Web site at http://rlv.msfc.nasa.gov, or contact: Dr. Dominic Amatore, Public Affairs Office, Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812. Phone: (205) 544-0031.