FAA Clears Second SpaceX Starship Test

Company is targeting Friday launch
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2023 6:20 PM CST
SpaceX Cleared for Second Starship Test
In this image from video provided by SpaceX, the company's Starship launches from Boca Chica, Texas, on April 20, 2023.   (SpaceX via AP)

The Federal Aviation Administration has given the green light to SpaceX for a second test flight of its Starship rocket, more than six months after the most powerful rocket ever built exploded soon after liftoff. "The FAA determined SpaceX met all safety, environmental, policy and financial responsibility requirements," the agency said in a post on X. SpaceX said earlier this week that if the launch license was granted, the test flight could happen as soon as Friday morning, NBC News reports. The company's website says it is targeting a two-hour launch window starting at 7am. SpaceX has a $3 billion contract with NASA to use the almost 400-foot rocket to bring astronauts to the moon.

The company has spent months rebuilding the launch pad in Boca Chica, Texas, that was wrecked in the April 20 test flight, CNN reports. The FAA was sued by environmental and wildlife groups after the April launch. The AP reports that the FAA completed its safety review of the upcoming launch a month ago but that the environmental review took longer, prompting grumbling from SpaceX execs. "It's a shame when our hardware is ready to fly, and we're not able to go fly because of regulations or review," William Gerstenmaier, SpaceX vice president for build and reliability, said at a Senate hearing last month. (More Starship stories.)

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