Endangered Chicken Delays Texas Spaceflight Plan
MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — The mating habits of an endangered species of chicken have postponed a West Texas city’s plans for spaceflight.
The Midland Reporter-Telegram reports the city is awaiting clearance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a Federal Aviation Administration spaceport license. Midland International Airport has been working to become the first in the nation to offer commercial and spaceflight from its runways.
The lesser prairie-chicken was federally listed as endangered in March, prompting the city to apply for an addendum to its service application.
The service is worried that sonic booms would disrupt the small bird’s early-morning mating habits. City officials maintain the sounds will not harm the chickens.
The FAA has until mid-September to issue the spaceport license, a process that has lasted for nearly two years.