National Environmental Policy Act; Mars Science Laboratory Mission, 67389-67391 [E6-19610]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 224 / Tuesday, November 21, 2006 / Notices NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice: 06–086] Notice of Information Collection National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). ACTION: Notice of information collection. AGENCY: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–13, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). DATES: All comments should be submitted within 60 calendar days from the date of this publication. ADDRESSES: All comments should be addressed to Mr. Walter Kit, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC 20546–0001. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Mr. Walter Kit, NASA PRA Officer, NASA Headquarters, 300 E Street SW., JE000, Washington, DC 20546, (202) 358–1350, Walter.Kit1@nasa.gov. SUMMARY: I. Abstract The purpose of these information collections is to gather Web site usability data by a combination of complimentary data collection instruments that will be used by Web and product design teams to enhance NASA Web sites and educational products, making them easier to use and more effective for users to access Agency information with the least amount of time, frustration, and effort. II. Method of Collection sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES Usability data will be gathered using various methods and resources, including but not limited to candidate screening, user observation, focus groups, questionnaires, and in-person interviews by means of questionnaires on Web sites, email attachments, faxes, telephone interviews, and direct personto-person communication. Title: Generic Web Site Usability Information Collections. OMB Number: 2700–XXXX. Type of review: Generic Collection. VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:17 Nov 20, 2006 Jkt 211001 IV. Request for Comments Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of NASA, including whether the information collected has practical utility; (2) the accuracy of NASA’s estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including automated collection techniques or the use of other forms of information technology. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection. They will also become a matter of public record. Gary Cox, Deputy Chief Information Officer (Acting). [FR Doc. E6–19656 Filed 11–20–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510–13–P NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: III. Data Affected Public: Individuals or households. Number of Respondents: 1800. Responses Per Respondent: 1. Annual Responses: 600. Hours Per Response: 1.5 hours. Annual Burden Hours: 900. Notice (06–085) National Environmental Policy Act; Mars Science Laboratory Mission National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). ACTION: Notice of availability of final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for implementation of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA (40 CFR Parts 1500–1508), and NASA policy and procedures (14 CFR Part 1216 subpart 1216.3), NASA has prepared and issued a FEIS for the proposed MSL mission. The FEIS addresses the potential environmental impacts associated with implementing the mission. The purpose of this proposal is to explore the surface of Mars with a mobile science laboratory (hereinafter called the ‘‘rover’’). This PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 67389 environmental impact statement (EIS) is a tiered document (Tier 2 EIS) under NASA’s Programmatic EIS for the Mars Exploration Program (MEP). The FEIS presents descriptions of the proposed MSL mission, spacecraft, and candidate launch vehicles; an overview of the affected environment at and near the launch site; and the potential environmental consequences associated with the Proposed Action and alternatives, including the No Action Alternative. The MSL mission is planned for launch during the September–November 2009 time period from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Florida, on an expendable launch vehicle. The arrival date at Mars would range from mid-July 2010 to not later than midOctober 2010, depending on the exact launch date and the yet to be determined landing site on the surface of Mars. Using advanced instrumentation, the MSL rover would strive to acquire significant detailed information regarding the habitability of Mars from a scientifically promising location on the surface. The mission would also fulfill NASA’s strategic technology goals of increasing the mass of science payloads delivered to the surface of Mars, expanding access to higher and lower latitudes, increasing precision landing capability, and increasing traverse capability (mobility) to distances on the order of several kilometers. The FEIS evaluates two alternatives in addition to the No Action Alternative. Under the Proposed Action (Alternative 1, NASA’s Preferred Alternative), the proposed MSL rover would utilize a radioisotope power system, a MultiMission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG), as its primary source of electrical power to operate and conduct science on the surface of Mars. Under Alternative 2, an MSL rover would utilize solar energy as its primary source of electrical power to operate and conduct science on the surface of Mars. DATES: NASA will take no final action on the proposed MSL mission on or before December 21, 2006, or 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notice of availability of the MSL FEIS, whichever is later. ADDRESSES: The FEIS may be reviewed at the following locations: (a) NASA Headquarters, Library, Room 1J20, 300 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20546–0001; (b) Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Visitors Lobby, Building 249, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109. E:\FR\FM\21NON1.SGM 21NON1 sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES 67390 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 224 / Tuesday, November 21, 2006 / Notices Hard copies of the FEIS also may be examined at other NASA Centers (see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below). Limited hard copies of the FEIS are available, on a first request basis, by contacting Mark R. Dahl at the address, telephone number, or electronic mail address indicated below. The FEIS is also available in Adobe portable document format at http:// spacescience.nasa.gov/admin/pubs/ msl/index.htm. NASA’s Record of Decision (ROD) will also be placed on that Web site when it is issued. Anyone who desires a hard copy of NASA’s ROD when it is issued should so indicate by contacting Mr. Dahl. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark R. Dahl, Planetary Science Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546–0001, telephone 202–358–4800, or electronic mail mep.nepa@hq.nasa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The MEP is currently being implemented as a sustained series of flight missions to Mars, each of which will provide important, focused scientific return. The MEP is fundamentally a science driven program whose focus is on understanding and characterizing Mars as a dynamic system and ultimately addressing whether life is or was ever a part of that system. The core MEP addresses the highest priority scientific investigations directly related to the Program goals and objectives. MSL investigations would be a means of addressing several of the high-priority scientific investigations recommended to NASA by the planetary science community. The overall scientific goals of the MSL mission can be divided into four areas: (1) Assess the biological potential of at least one selected site on Mars; (2) characterize the geology and geochemistry of the landing region at all appropriate spatial scales; (3) investigate planetary processes of relevance to past habitability; and (4) characterize the broad spectrum of the Martian surface radiation environment. The following specific objectives are planned for the mission to address these goals: —Determine the nature and inventory of organic carbon compounds; —Inventory the chemical building blocks of life (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur); —Identify features that may represent the effects of biological processes; —Investigate the chemical, isotopic, and mineralogical composition of Martian surface and near-surface geological materials; VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:17 Nov 20, 2006 Jkt 211001 —Interpret the processes that have formed and modified rocks and regolith; —Assess long-timescale (i.e., 4-billionyear) atmospheric evolution processes; and —Determine the present state, distribution, and cycling of water and carbon dioxide. The proposed MSL mission would utilize a rover with advanced instrumentation to acquire significant detailed information regarding the habitability of Mars from a scientifically promising location. The mission would also fulfill NASA’s strategic technology goals of increasing the mass of science payloads delivered to the surface of Mars, expanding access to higher and lower latitudes, increasing precision landing capability, and increasing traverse capability (mobility) to distances on the order of several kilometers. Mobility is essential because evidence for past or present life on Mars will very likely not be so abundant or widespread that it will be available in the immediate vicinity of the selected landing site. Without the mobility necessary to conduct in situ exploration, it may not be possible to uniquely characterize a target location. The Proposed Action (Alternative 1, NASA’s Preferred Alternative) consists of continuing preparations for and implementing the MSL mission to Mars. The proposed MSL rover would utilize a MMRTG as its primary source of electrical power to operate and conduct science on the surface of Mars. Under Alternative 2, NASA would discontinue preparations for the Proposed Action (Alternative 1) and implement an alternative MSL mission to Mars. The alternative MSL rover would utilize solar energy as its primary source of electrical power to operate and conduct science on the surface of Mars. With either the Proposed Action (Alternative 1) or Alternative 2, the MSL spacecraft would be launched on board an expendable launch vehicle from CCAFS, Florida during the September— November 2009 time period. Under the No Action Alternative, NASA would discontinue preparations for the MSL mission, and the spacecraft would not be launched. With either the Proposed Action (Alternative 1) or Alternative 2, the potentially affected environment for a normal launch includes the area at and in the vicinity of the launch site, CCAFS in Florida. The environmental impacts of a normal launch of the mission for either alternative would be associated principally with the exhaust emissions PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 from the expendable launch vehicle. These effects would include: (1) Shortterm impacts on air quality within the exhaust cloud and near the launch pad; and (2) the potential for acidic deposition on the vegetation and surface water bodies at and near the launch complex. Potential launch accidents could result in the release of some of the radioactive material on board the spacecraft. The MMRTG planned for use on the rover for the Proposed Action (Alternative 1) would use approximately 4.8 kilograms (10.6 pounds) of plutonium dioxide to provide electrical power. For either alternative, two of the science instruments on the rover would use small quantities of radioactive material, totaling approximately two curies, for instrument calibration or science experiments. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in cooperation with NASA, has performed a risk assessment of potential accidents for the MSL mission. This assessment used a methodology refined through applications to the Galileo, Ulysses, Cassini, Mars Exploration Rover, and New Horizons missions. DOE’s risk assessment for the proposed MSL mission indicates that in the event of a launch accident the expected impacts of released radioactive material at and in the vicinity of the launch area, and on a global basis, would be small. Alternative 2 would not involve any MMRTG-associated radiological risks since an MMRTG would not be used for this mission alternative. The FEIS may be reviewed at the following public libraries in Florida: (a) Central Brevard Public Library and Reference Center, 308 Forrest Avenue, Cocoa, FL 32922; (b) Cocoa Beach Public Library, 550 North Brevard Avenue, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931; (c) Melbourne Public Library, 540 East Fee Avenue, Melbourne, FL 32901; (d) Merritt Island Public Library, 1195 North Courtenay Parkway, Merritt Island, FL 32953; (e) Port St. John Public Library, 6500 Carole Avenue, Port St. John, FL 32927; (f) Titusville Public Library, 2121 South Hopkins Avenue, Titusville, FL 32780. The FEIS also may be examined at the following NASA locations by contacting the pertinent Freedom of Information Office: (a) NASA, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (650–604– 3273); (b) NASA, Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA 93523 (661–276– 2704); E:\FR\FM\21NON1.SGM 21NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 224 / Tuesday, November 21, 2006 / Notices (c) NASA, Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field, Cleveland, OH 44135 (866– 404–3642); (d) NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (301–286– 4721); (e) NASA, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX 77058 (281–483–8612); (f) NASA, Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899 (321–867–2745); (g) NASA, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23681 (757–864–2497); (h) NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL 35812 (256–544– 1837); and (i) NASA, Stennis Space Center, MS 39529 (228–688–2118). NASA published a Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Draft EIS (DEIS) for the MSL mission in the Federal Register on September 5, 2006, (71 FR 52347) and made the DEIS available in electronic format on its Web site. The EPA published its NOA in the Federal Register on September 8, 2006, (71 FR 53093). In addition, NASA published its NOA in local newspapers in the Cape Canaveral, Florida regional area, and in Washington, DC, and held public meetings in Cocoa, Florida on September 27, 2006, and in Washington, DC on October 10, 2006, during which attendees were invited to present both oral and written comments on the DEIS. Three comments relevant to the DEIS were presented at these meetings. NASA received 44 written comment submissions, both hardcopy and electronic, during the comment period ending October 23, 2006. The comments are addressed in the FEIS. Olga M. Dominguez, Assistant Administrator for Infrastructure and Administration. [FR Doc. E6–19610 Filed 11–20–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510–13–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Biweekly Notice Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses Involving No Significant Hazards Considerations sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES I. Background Pursuant to section 189a. (2) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission or NRC staff) is publishing this regular biweekly notice. The Act requires the Commission publish notice of any amendments issued, or proposed to be issued and grants the Commission the authority to issue and make VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:17 Nov 20, 2006 Jkt 211001 immediately effective any amendment to an operating license upon a determination by the Commission that such amendment involves no significant hazards consideration, notwithstanding the pendency before the Commission of a request for a hearing from any person. This biweekly notice includes all notices of amendments issued, or proposed to be issued from October 27, 2006, to November 8, 2006. The last biweekly notice was published on November 7, 2006 (71 FR 65139). Notice of Consideration of Issuance of Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses, Proposed No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination, and Opportunity for a Hearing The Commission has made a proposed determination that the following amendment requests involve no significant hazards consideration. Under the Commission’s regulations in 10 CFR 50.92, this means that operation of the facility in accordance with the proposed amendment would not (1) involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated; or (2) create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated; or (3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. The basis for this proposed determination for each amendment request is shown below. The Commission is seeking public comments on this proposed determination. Any comments received within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice will be considered in making any final determination. Within 60 days after the date of publication of this notice, the licensee may file a request for a hearing with respect to issuance of the amendment to the subject facility operating license and any person whose interest may be affected by this proceeding and who wishes to participate as a party in the proceeding must file a written request for a hearing and a petition for leave to intervene. Normally, the Commission will not issue the amendment until the expiration of 60 days after the date of publication of this notice. The Commission may issue the license amendment before expiration of the 60day period provided that its final determination is that the amendment involves no significant hazards consideration. In addition, the Commission may issue the amendment prior to the expiration of the 30-day comment period should circumstances change during the 30-day comment period such that failure to act in a PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 67391 timely way would result, for example in derating or shutdown of the facility. Should the Commission take action prior to the expiration of either the comment period or the notice period, it will publish in the Federal Register a notice of issuance. Should the Commission make a final No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination, any hearing will take place after issuance. The Commission expects that the need to take this action will occur very infrequently. Written comments may be submitted by mail to the Chief, Rulemaking, Directives and Editing Branch, Division of Administrative Services, Office of Administration, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001, and should cite the publication date and page number of this Federal Register notice. Written comments may also be delivered to Room 6D22, Two White Flint North, 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Federal workdays. Copies of written comments received may be examined at the Commission’s Public Document Room (PDR), located at One White Flint North, Public File Area O1F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland. The filing of requests for a hearing and petitions for leave to intervene is discussed below. Within 60 days after the date of publication of this notice, the licensee may file a request for a hearing with respect to issuance of the amendment to the subject facility operating license and any person whose interest may be affected by this proceeding and who wishes to participate as a party in the proceeding must file a written request for a hearing and a petition for leave to intervene. Requests for a hearing and a petition for leave to intervene shall be filed in accordance with the Commission’s ‘‘Rules of Practice for Domestic Licensing Proceedings’’ in 10 CFR Part 2. Interested persons should consult a current copy of 10 CFR 2.309, which is available at the Commission’s PDR, located at One White Flint North, Public File Area 01F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available records will be accessible from the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System’s (ADAMS) Public Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov/ reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/. If a request for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene is filed within 60 days, the Commission or a presiding officer designated by the Commission or by the Chief Administrative Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, will rule on the request and/or E:\FR\FM\21NON1.SGM 21NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 224 (Tuesday, November 21, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 67389-67391]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-19610]


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NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

Notice (06-085)


National Environmental Policy Act; Mars Science Laboratory 
Mission

AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

ACTION: Notice of availability of final environmental impact statement 
(FEIS) for implementation of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as 
amended (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Council on Environmental 
Quality Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA 
(40 CFR Parts 1500-1508), and NASA policy and procedures (14 CFR Part 
1216 subpart 1216.3), NASA has prepared and issued a FEIS for the 
proposed MSL mission. The FEIS addresses the potential environmental 
impacts associated with implementing the mission. The purpose of this 
proposal is to explore the surface of Mars with a mobile science 
laboratory (hereinafter called the ``rover''). This environmental 
impact statement (EIS) is a tiered document (Tier 2 EIS) under NASA's 
Programmatic EIS for the Mars Exploration Program (MEP). The FEIS 
presents descriptions of the proposed MSL mission, spacecraft, and 
candidate launch vehicles; an overview of the affected environment at 
and near the launch site; and the potential environmental consequences 
associated with the Proposed Action and alternatives, including the No 
Action Alternative.
    The MSL mission is planned for launch during the September-November 
2009 time period from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), 
Florida, on an expendable launch vehicle. The arrival date at Mars 
would range from mid-July 2010 to not later than mid-October 2010, 
depending on the exact launch date and the yet to be determined landing 
site on the surface of Mars. Using advanced instrumentation, the MSL 
rover would strive to acquire significant detailed information 
regarding the habitability of Mars from a scientifically promising 
location on the surface. The mission would also fulfill NASA's 
strategic technology goals of increasing the mass of science payloads 
delivered to the surface of Mars, expanding access to higher and lower 
latitudes, increasing precision landing capability, and increasing 
traverse capability (mobility) to distances on the order of several 
kilometers.
    The FEIS evaluates two alternatives in addition to the No Action 
Alternative. Under the Proposed Action (Alternative 1, NASA's Preferred 
Alternative), the proposed MSL rover would utilize a radioisotope power 
system, a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG), 
as its primary source of electrical power to operate and conduct 
science on the surface of Mars. Under Alternative 2, an MSL rover would 
utilize solar energy as its primary source of electrical power to 
operate and conduct science on the surface of Mars.

DATES: NASA will take no final action on the proposed MSL mission on or 
before December 21, 2006, or 30 days from the date of publication in 
the Federal Register of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 
notice of availability of the MSL FEIS, whichever is later.

ADDRESSES: The FEIS may be reviewed at the following locations:
    (a) NASA Headquarters, Library, Room 1J20, 300 E Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20546-0001;
    (b) Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Visitors Lobby, Building 249, 4800 
Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109.

[[Page 67390]]

    Hard copies of the FEIS also may be examined at other NASA Centers 
(see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below).
    Limited hard copies of the FEIS are available, on a first request 
basis, by contacting Mark R. Dahl at the address, telephone number, or 
electronic mail address indicated below. The FEIS is also available in 
Adobe[supreg] portable document format at http://spacescience.nasa.gov/
admin/pubs/msl/index.htm. NASA's Record of Decision (ROD) will also be 
placed on that Web site when it is issued. Anyone who desires a hard 
copy of NASA's ROD when it is issued should so indicate by contacting 
Mr. Dahl.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark R. Dahl, Planetary Science 
Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, 
DC 20546-0001, telephone 202-358-4800, or electronic mail 
mep.nepa@hq.nasa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The MEP is currently being implemented as a 
sustained series of flight missions to Mars, each of which will provide 
important, focused scientific return. The MEP is fundamentally a 
science driven program whose focus is on understanding and 
characterizing Mars as a dynamic system and ultimately addressing 
whether life is or was ever a part of that system. The core MEP 
addresses the highest priority scientific investigations directly 
related to the Program goals and objectives. MSL investigations would 
be a means of addressing several of the high-priority scientific 
investigations recommended to NASA by the planetary science community.
    The overall scientific goals of the MSL mission can be divided into 
four areas: (1) Assess the biological potential of at least one 
selected site on Mars; (2) characterize the geology and geochemistry of 
the landing region at all appropriate spatial scales; (3) investigate 
planetary processes of relevance to past habitability; and (4) 
characterize the broad spectrum of the Martian surface radiation 
environment. The following specific objectives are planned for the 
mission to address these goals:

--Determine the nature and inventory of organic carbon compounds;
--Inventory the chemical building blocks of life (carbon, hydrogen, 
nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur);
--Identify features that may represent the effects of biological 
processes;
--Investigate the chemical, isotopic, and mineralogical composition of 
Martian surface and near-surface geological materials;
--Interpret the processes that have formed and modified rocks and 
regolith;
--Assess long-timescale (i.e., 4-billion-year) atmospheric evolution 
processes; and
--Determine the present state, distribution, and cycling of water and 
carbon dioxide.

    The proposed MSL mission would utilize a rover with advanced 
instrumentation to acquire significant detailed information regarding 
the habitability of Mars from a scientifically promising location. The 
mission would also fulfill NASA's strategic technology goals of 
increasing the mass of science payloads delivered to the surface of 
Mars, expanding access to higher and lower latitudes, increasing 
precision landing capability, and increasing traverse capability 
(mobility) to distances on the order of several kilometers.
    Mobility is essential because evidence for past or present life on 
Mars will very likely not be so abundant or widespread that it will be 
available in the immediate vicinity of the selected landing site. 
Without the mobility necessary to conduct in situ exploration, it may 
not be possible to uniquely characterize a target location.
    The Proposed Action (Alternative 1, NASA's Preferred Alternative) 
consists of continuing preparations for and implementing the MSL 
mission to Mars. The proposed MSL rover would utilize a MMRTG as its 
primary source of electrical power to operate and conduct science on 
the surface of Mars. Under Alternative 2, NASA would discontinue 
preparations for the Proposed Action (Alternative 1) and implement an 
alternative MSL mission to Mars. The alternative MSL rover would 
utilize solar energy as its primary source of electrical power to 
operate and conduct science on the surface of Mars. With either the 
Proposed Action (Alternative 1) or Alternative 2, the MSL spacecraft 
would be launched on board an expendable launch vehicle from CCAFS, 
Florida during the September--November 2009 time period. Under the No 
Action Alternative, NASA would discontinue preparations for the MSL 
mission, and the spacecraft would not be launched.
    With either the Proposed Action (Alternative 1) or Alternative 2, 
the potentially affected environment for a normal launch includes the 
area at and in the vicinity of the launch site, CCAFS in Florida. The 
environmental impacts of a normal launch of the mission for either 
alternative would be associated principally with the exhaust emissions 
from the expendable launch vehicle. These effects would include: (1) 
Short-term impacts on air quality within the exhaust cloud and near the 
launch pad; and (2) the potential for acidic deposition on the 
vegetation and surface water bodies at and near the launch complex.
    Potential launch accidents could result in the release of some of 
the radioactive material on board the spacecraft. The MMRTG planned for 
use on the rover for the Proposed Action (Alternative 1) would use 
approximately 4.8 kilograms (10.6 pounds) of plutonium dioxide to 
provide electrical power. For either alternative, two of the science 
instruments on the rover would use small quantities of radioactive 
material, totaling approximately two curies, for instrument calibration 
or science experiments.
    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in cooperation with NASA, has 
performed a risk assessment of potential accidents for the MSL mission. 
This assessment used a methodology refined through applications to the 
Galileo, Ulysses, Cassini, Mars Exploration Rover, and New Horizons 
missions. DOE's risk assessment for the proposed MSL mission indicates 
that in the event of a launch accident the expected impacts of released 
radioactive material at and in the vicinity of the launch area, and on 
a global basis, would be small. Alternative 2 would not involve any 
MMRTG-associated radiological risks since an MMRTG would not be used 
for this mission alternative.
    The FEIS may be reviewed at the following public libraries in 
Florida:
    (a) Central Brevard Public Library and Reference Center, 308 
Forrest Avenue, Cocoa, FL 32922;
    (b) Cocoa Beach Public Library, 550 North Brevard Avenue, Cocoa 
Beach, FL 32931;
    (c) Melbourne Public Library, 540 East Fee Avenue, Melbourne, FL 
32901;
    (d) Merritt Island Public Library, 1195 North Courtenay Parkway, 
Merritt Island, FL 32953;
    (e) Port St. John Public Library, 6500 Carole Avenue, Port St. 
John, FL 32927;
    (f) Titusville Public Library, 2121 South Hopkins Avenue, 
Titusville, FL 32780.
    The FEIS also may be examined at the following NASA locations by 
contacting the pertinent Freedom of Information Office:
    (a) NASA, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (650-604-
3273);
    (b) NASA, Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA 93523 (661-
276-2704);

[[Page 67391]]

    (c) NASA, Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field, Cleveland, OH 44135 
(866-404-3642);
    (d) NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (301-
286-4721);
    (e) NASA, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX 77058 (281-483-8612);
    (f) NASA, Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899 (321-867-2745);
    (g) NASA, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23681 (757-864-
2497);
    (h) NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL 35812 (256-
544-1837); and
    (i) NASA, Stennis Space Center, MS 39529 (228-688-2118).
    NASA published a Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Draft EIS 
(DEIS) for the MSL mission in the Federal Register on September 5, 
2006, (71 FR 52347) and made the DEIS available in electronic format on 
its Web site. The EPA published its NOA in the Federal Register on 
September 8, 2006, (71 FR 53093). In addition, NASA published its NOA 
in local newspapers in the Cape Canaveral, Florida regional area, and 
in Washington, DC, and held public meetings in Cocoa, Florida on 
September 27, 2006, and in Washington, DC on October 10, 2006, during 
which attendees were invited to present both oral and written comments 
on the DEIS. Three comments relevant to the DEIS were presented at 
these meetings. NASA received 44 written comment submissions, both 
hardcopy and electronic, during the comment period ending October 23, 
2006. The comments are addressed in the FEIS.

Olga M. Dominguez,
Assistant Administrator for Infrastructure and Administration.
[FR Doc. E6-19610 Filed 11-20-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7510-13-P