Photos from our protest at the Maine Space Conference Nov 6 in Portland
Our ad campaign includes a 1/4 page print ad and :30 radio spot ⏬
who we are
Nature lovers opposed to building polluting rocket launch sites in Maine. We monitored & resisted the rush to pass "emergency" legislation to create a public-private partnership for rocket launch sites in our state. In April, 2022, LD 1923 was signed into law by Gov. Janet Mills after passing the House "under the gavel" i.e. without a voice vote.
Video of our talk at the Common Ground Fair in Unity where bluShift Aerospace CEO Sascha Deri showed up to call us liars.
We're not lying, but Maine Space Corporation supporters probably were when they assured legislators that plans for a rocket launch site off the coast would only be used for civilian purposes. At our talk, Deri admitted he's accepting funding from both NASA and the U.S. Space Force, and expects to launch satellites for the military. And VALT, another Maine supporter of building launch sites, is already at work on hypersonic weapons for the Pentagon.
Rocket launches contribute to climate crisis with greenhouse gas emissions, and they further harm the environment with toxic fallout from launches that falls to Earth. They also harm the ozone layer protecting us from Sun's radiation. By the way, despite what supporters of this business scheme tell you, even "bio" fuels have emissions that are significant.
When rocket launches go wrong -- as they frequently do -- chemicals rain down on land and sea as highly toxic materials burn up.
In case of fires at the rocket launch site, large scale storage of PFAS foam is to be expected. Maine already has a severe PFAS contamination problem on agricultural land across the state.
The commercial fishing community of Jonesport has already pushed back on plans to launch rockets near their fishing grounds. The effect on birds, other animals, and plant life near launch sites is pressure on their ability to survive. Large numbers of birds were killed after a SpaceX rocket launch last summer in New Mexico.
Is this what we want for Maine?
LD 1923's sponsor Rep. Daughtry insists that no military uses are planned for rocket launch sites in Maine. But in every location we've studied, the same promises were made and not kept.
In Kodiak, Alaska 20 years ago one launch site was built with developers claiming it was only for civilian purposes. There are now multiple sites there being used by the Pentagon and the Israeli military. Meanwhile, the jobs that were promised for the project never developed. Sites are staffed when launches happen by outsiders who leave after the event. Only custodial and security staff jobs are available to the local community.
Recently a SpaceX launch of satellites saw 40 of them fall out of the atmosphere due to a solar storm. In their statement about their response to the incident, SpaceX stressed their close cooperation with the Pentagon:
“We’re trying to be a step ahead of some of our competitors, not only in Canada but also in Alaska,” Terry Shehata, executive director of the Maine Space Grant Consortium, told lawmakers in Augusta on Feb 1 (video here).
“We want to do this as quickly as possible so we can enter the marketplace.”
A NEW ZEALAND LAUNCH SITE HAS BEEN MILITARIZED SINCE IT WAS BUILT
OPPOSITION TO A PROPOSED ROCKET LAUNCH SITE IN HAWAII
AN ALASKA LAUNCH SITE HAS BEEN MILITARIZED SINCE IT WAS BUILT