Lower Carbon Emissions by Limiting Private Space Launches

Target: Elon Musk, Owner of SpaceX

Goal: Stop wasteful increase in carbon emissions from private space launches.

SpaceX is the first private company to send a huge rocket into space. Despite the technological success, large rockets mean a large environmental impact. The rocket that SpaceX launched into orbit was big enough to carry a sports car into space. The launch itself was not only physically big, but the public also showed an interest in the technological development of privatized space travel: the launch of the SpaceX rocket was live streamed like a sporting event and drew a large amount of viewers.

Astrophysicist Ian Whittaker noted that the rocked that SpaceX launched form the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida burned a massive amount of fuel. Rocket fuel has a high carbon content, meaning that it gives off a sizable amount of carbon dioxide when it is burned. The SpaceX rocket contained 440 tons of rocket fuel. In addition to the environmental issues that the huge carbon footprint of commercialized space travel presents, there is also the issue of space debris. Similar to how the oceans are becoming polluted with human waste, space is becoming a dumping ground for human debris. It is estimated that there are around 150 million objects floating in space because of human-launched expeditions and experiments. This space debris could interrupt and even destroy critical satellite infrastructure that is needed to measure climate change and enable GPS.

Currently, SpaceX has set the goal of launching a rocket every two weeks. This would result in an approximated 4,000 tons of carbon released into the atmosphere each year in addition to the space debris that results from each launch. As the leader in private space travel, SpaceX sets the bar for other companies that may come to market and contribute to space pollution and carbon emissions. Sign this petition to urge Elon Musk, the owner of SpaceX, to lower the target goal of a space launch every two weeks.


Dear Mr. Musk,

It is very clear from your business ventures, like electric cars produced by Tesla, that you are concerned about human impact on the environment. Your SpaceX ventures, however, are going to be devastating to the planet. With 440 tons of jet fuel on each rocket there will be a huge increase in carbon emissions. In addition, space is becoming polluted with debris from human expeditions and experiments. The debris that is floating in space could interfere or disrupt necessary satellite functions like climate tracking and GPS functioning.

Currently, you have set the goal of launching a rocket every two weeks. Please consider the adverse effects that this would have on our environment. I urge you to lower your goal for frequency of space launch.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Emily Shanklin at SpaceX

Sign the Petition

  • Only your name will be displayed. By signing, you accept our terms and may receive updates on this and related causes.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
FacebookCare2 NewsTwitterEmailShare

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Facebook Comments


132 Signatures

  • Mel Bowler
  • Chris Verhaegen
  • Helen Dowland
  • DC Katten
  • Dawn Barber
  • Lynne Conlin
  • Heidi Wagner
  • Melissa Cathcart
  • Carissa Wise
  • Martin Peterson
1 of 13123...13
Skip to toolbar