SpaceX Starship, ok again for the Boca Chica base: new date 29 April

SpaceX will have to wait beyond 28 March to find out if the Federal Aviation Administration will or will not authorize the launch of Starship rockets from its base in Boca Chica, Texas. The US Department of Transportation agency charged with regulating and overseeing every aspect of civil aviation has further postponed the date on which it will give its response on theenvironmental impact analysis (PEA) that these launches will have on the area, an essential step to obtain the license necessary to start the orbital tests.

This is not the first time the FAA has postponed the expected completion date for the analysis. In the past, in fact, he had already postponed the first estimated date from 31 December 2021 to next 28 February. This further delay, we read on the agency page relating to the project, was necessary “to take into account a further review of comments and ongoing consultations between agencies”. The FAA received over 19,000 public comments on the draft programmatic environmental assessment project published in September last year.

Initially, we recall, Elon Musk’s optimistic predictions for the start of the orbital tests pointed to July last year but the hypothesis of a postponement to September quickly made its way. In August, however, the FAA communicated that it should have previously carried out an environmental assessment before giving the go-ahead for the launch. An assessment that, initially, should have been made in about a month, but this was not the case and the postponements began.

Elon Musk would still have a classic “plan B” ready. in the event that SpaceX does not obtain an approval for Boca Chica or if the FAA issues an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) with which to begin an in-depth process that could take years. As recently confirmed, SpaceX has already obtained approval for the launch of Starship from the Kennedy Space Center base in Cape Canaveral in Florida where work has already begun on the construction of a launch tower.

In all of this, the timing required for SpaceX must also be considered. In fact, if the green light comes from the FAA, even all the “hardware” part will have to obtain regulatory approval after the revisions that have been made to improve its performance. Currently, in fact, there are 29 Starship Raptor engines that could soon become 33 to give further boost.

27/3

The deadline for the FAA’s final decision has been postponed from 28 March to 29 April. In fact, the US federal administration needs more time to complete its environmental analysis on the SpaceX program on Starship and Super Heavy in Boca Chica.

As reported by Reuters, “the FAA believes that completing the environmental review does not guarantee the issuance of a vehicle operator license, which must also meet FAA safety, risk, and financial liability requirements“.


Leave a Comment