WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 -- The Federal Register posted the following notice from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration:
National Environmental Policy Act; Mars 2020 Mission
A Notice by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on 09/11/2013
This article has a comment period that ends in 49 days (10/30/2013) Submit a formal comment
Publication Date: Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Dates: Interested parties are invited to submit comments on environmental concerns in writing on or before October 30, 2013 to assure full consideration during the scoping process. NASA will conduct scoping meetings to solicit and collect comments on the scope of the Mars 2020 mission EIS as well as the Proposed Action in October 2013.
Comments Close: 10/30/2013
Entry Type: Notice
Action: Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Mars 2020 mission and to conduct scoping for the EIS.
Document Citation: 78 FR 55762
Page: 55762 -55763 (2 pages)
Agency/Docket Number: Notice 13-111
Document Number: 2013-22116
Shorter URL: https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-22116
Notice Of Intent To Prepare An Environmental Impact Statement (Eis) For The Mars 2020 Mission And To Conduct Scoping For The Eis.
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and NASA policy and procedures (14 CFR part 1216 subpart 1216.3), NASA intends to conduct scoping and prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Mars 2020 mission. NASA is seeking input on environmental issues and concerns associated with the proposed action, as well as alternatives that should be addressed in the EIS. The mission would fly a near-duplicate of the Mars Science Laboratory mission's rover, Curiosity, outfitted with new scientific instruments. The mission would be designed to seek signs of past life on Mars, collect and store a compelling set of soil and rock samples that could be returned to Earth in the future, and test new technology to benefit future robotic and human exploration of Mars.
The Proposed Action is to continue preparation for and implement the Mars 2020 mission. The Mars 2020 mission would launch the spacecraft from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Brevard County, Florida during the summer of 2020. NASA would select the launch vehicle for the mission through NASA's launch services procurement process. There is a backup launch opportunity for the mission during the summer of 2022. The baseline mission plan would include the use of one multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator (MMRTG) for rover electrical power and temperature control while on the surface of Mars. Some science instruments may require the use of small quantities of radioactive material for instrument calibration or for experimentation. Environmental impacts to be considered in the EIS are those impacts associated with a normal launch from CCAFS, and radiological and non-radiological risks associated with a potential launch accident.