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SLS and Orion MPCV National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Activities
September 13, 2013

[image-51]NASA prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the implementation of the Constellation Program (CxP). The CxP EIS encompasses NASA's initial efforts to extend the human presence throughout the solar system.

After cancellation of the CxP in 2010, the new Congressional and Presidential direction is to enable future human missions beyond low Earth orbit, drawing on and continuing certain developmental work of the CxP, but eliminating some of its planned elements and specific objectives. The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and Space Launch System (SLS) are now authorized to replace the CxP and continue deep space human exploration beyond low Earth orbit (LEO).

NASA has therefore conducted a review of the CxP EIS and Record of Decision (ROD) in the context of the Orion MPCV and SLS programs. At the programmatic level and in the early stages of development, NASA anticipates its revised human spaceflight program will continue to use the same general technologies and facilities used for the CxP as analyzed in the 2008 EIS.

A modified ROD was subsequently issued on July 29, 2011, documenting NASA's consideration of possible changes in the environmental impacts resulting from directed changes in the Agency's proposed human spaceflight program. The Modified ROD updates the 2008 ROD to address NASA's human spaceflight program as revised to implement Congressional and Presidential redirection. The CxP EIS, 2008 ROD and 2011 modified ROD are available on the NASA NEPA page, as well as the Orion MPCV and SLS pages.

The modified ROD for the CxP EIS and facility related environmental assessments have been developed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and discuss the purpose and need for the development of systems needed to support these missions. Links to more information pertaining to HEOMD programs' environmental assessments and documentation either in progress or completed can be found below.

Links to more information pertaining to HEOMD programs' environmental assessments and documentation either in progress or completed can be found below.

Note: The following documents refer to the Constellation Program (CxP); NASA anticipates its revised human spaceflight program will continue to use the same general technologies and facilities. See the modified ROD (July 29, 2011) for documentation of NASA's consideration of possible changes in the environmental impacts of the Orion MPCV and SLS programs.

Record of Environmental Consideration: Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle Exploration Flight Test 1
NASA MPCV Program Office has conducted a NEPA Record of Environmental Consideration for its upcoming Exploration Flight Test 1, scheduled for 2014.
Download the Accessible Version, 2013 (25 KB PDF)
› Download the Accessible Version, 2012 (300 KB PDF)
› Download the Signed Version, 2012 (2.7 MB PDF)

Modified Record of Decision for NASA’s Post-Shuttle Human Spaceflight Program and the Constellation Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (2011)
NASA has conducted a review of the Constellation PEIS and ROD in the context of the Orion MPCV and SLS programs. View the PEIS, 2008 ROD and 2011 Modified ROD.
+ NEPA Coverage for Orion MPCV and SLS

Environmental Assessment for Kennedy Space Center Modifications:
+ Download the Final Environmental Assessment (6.5 MB PDF)
+ Download the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) (135 KB PDF).

Environmental Assessment for Development of the Crew Exploration Vehicle:
+ Download the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) (35 KB PDF).
+ Download the Final Environmental Assessment (850 KB PDF).

Final Environmental Assessment for Modification and Operation of Building 103 at the Michoud Assembly Facility
The Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) is managed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), located in Huntsville, Alabama. In support of the Constellation Program, modifications were proposed to Building 103 at the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF), New Orleans, Louisiana. These modifications proposed adding a High Bay approximately 100 x 140 x 150 feet (ft) (30.5 x 42.7 x 45.7 meters [m]) for the expressed purpose of housing two stations for vertical assembly welding, two stations for vertical barrel welding, and one station for vertical stacking for the Upper Stage of Ares I launch vehicle at the MAF. In addition to the expansion, MAF also proposed several minor modifications to Building 103, to provide for Common Bulkhead Assembly and Bonding Facility, Robotic Weld Tool-1, 2, 3 Facility, Machine Center Facility, Common Bulkhead Clean Line, Avionics Integration, Test & Assembly, and Modifications for Reaction Control System Assembly.
› Download the Final Environmental Assessment (700 KB PDF)
› Download the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) (24 KB PDF)

Environmental Assessment for Stennis Space Center A-3 Test Stand
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is constructing a new Test Stand A-3 at John C. Stennis Space Center (SSC) for testing J-2X engines under vacuum conditions simulating high altitude operation. NASA's Constellation Program originally required these tests to develop and certify the J-2X engines. NASA prepared the Final Environmental Assessment for the Construction and Operation of the Constellation Program A-3 Test Stand, Stennis Space Center, Hancock, Mississippi to address construction and operation of the new stand and signed a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on June 4, 2007 enabling construction to proceed. With cancellation of the Constellation Program, the J2-X engines are now planned for use on the Space Launch System (SLS) Program. Despite the delay in schedule caused by the Constellation Program cancellation, the FONSI remains valid with no change in potential environmental effects caused due to thedelay.
Download the Environmental Assessment (2.9 MB PDF).
Download the Finding of No Significant Impact; A-3 Test Stand (150 KB PDF).

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At sunset over the Pacific Ocean, anvil tops of thunderclouds cast long shadows. Image Credit: NASA
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Page Last Updated: September 13th, 2013
Page Editor: Sarah Loff