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FAA delays Starship environmental review

January 4, 2022

By Chris Forrester

Elon Musk is preparing his giant Starship at its Boca Chica, south Texas launch site, but an expected approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is not now expected before the end of February.

There have been more than 18,000 comments filed into the FAA in regard to its draft comments on the launch of Musk’s Starship on environmental grounds. Musk had hoped to have the approval in place by December 31st 2021. The FAA announced its delay on December 28th.

SpaceX has to respond to each of the comments.

Musk is on record saying that his team would have a bunch of tests of both the Starship and ‘Super Heavy’ booster in terms of engine firings ahead of an actual trial launch. However, there is no guarantee that the FAA will not further extend its work, and thus further delay any launches.

Musk needs the rocket to eventually work as part of his plan to load the vehicle with up to about 400 Starlink satellites for bulk-launches.

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