FAA Grants Approval for SpaceX Starship Orbital Flight Test
The United States of America’s largest transportation agency, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), handles all of the regulatory permissions for flight tests.
SpaceX, the so-called Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, is an American spacecraft manufacturer, launcher, and satellite communications corporation founded by Elon Musk, aiming to reduce space transportation costs.
The FAA approved SpaceX to launch its next-generation Starship’s first orbital flight test from South Texas late Friday afternoon.
Following a thorough license evaluation procedure, The FAA stated that “SpaceX complies with all policies, safety, environmental, airspace integration, payload, and financial requirements.”
It’s been a long and challenging journey for SpaceX to reach this point and get the license issued, valid for five years.
The long-awaited test will likely be attempted by SpaceX on the 17 April morning, with the launch window opening at 7 AM local time as the weather seems to be perfect for the Monday launch attempt, with forecasted low winds and clear skies.
The FAA also conducted an environmental study at the company’s Boca Chica facility. The launch site is close to the Gulf of Mexico, surrounded by wetlands home to huge numbers of shorebirds.
In June 2022, The FAA provided SpaceX with a list of 75 tasks to safeguard nearby wildlife. Now all the things the company has to worry about are resolved, other than any remaining Starship-related technical problems.