Threatened prairie-chicken postpones West Texas city's quest for spaceflight

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: July 9, 2014 - 5:35 PM

MIDLAND, Texas — The mating habits of a threatened species of chicken have postponed a West Texas city's plans for spaceflight.

The Midland Reporter-Telegram reports (http://bit.ly/VKGt95) 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 listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in March, prompting the city to apply for an addendum to its service application.

The service is worried that sonic booms would disrupt the bird's early morning mating habits. City officials maintain the sounds won't harm the chickens.

The FAA has until mid-September to issue the spaceport license, a process that's taken nearly two years.

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