The Proposed Plan
Camden County, Georgia, is proposing to build a facility to launch rockets (a spaceport) from a site on the Satilla River Estuary in northern Camden County. They plan to launch 12 rockets per year with an associated 12 rehearsals. They propose to launch small rockets, which have a 20% failure rate (at any point in the launch). Rockets could launch on multiple trajectories that would generally take the rockets east over the marshes and barrier islands (Figure 1). The project would require the construction of facilities on an already heavily contaminated site.
Background on the Site
The site is in northern Camden County at the mouth of the Satilla River and Crooked River. It is inland from Little Cumberland Island, Cumberland Island, and the Cumberland River. This property is adjacent to the Ceylon Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and Cabin Bluff WMA. The site has a history of industrial uses: In the 1960s, the Thiokol Chemical Company produced and tested solid rocket motors, mortar ammunition, flares, tear gas, and other chemicals. (There was a deadly explosion in 1971 resulting in 29 deaths and 50 others injured.) The property was also the site of pesticide manufacturing facility until 2012 and is still owned by Union Carbide Corporation and Bayer Crop Science.