FAA extends environmental assessment to SpaceX Boca Chica launch site (again)

SpaceX has to wait even longer to find out if it can make Starship flights out of its Boca Chica facility in Texas. The United States Federal Aviation Administration has delay its decision to consider the environment of the launch site Again.

Exactly, the agency is looking into whether removing large amounts of reusable vehicles from the facility would have a significant environmental impact on the area and would pose a threat to public safety. are not. Its original target completion date was December 21, 2021, but it pushed the date back to February 28, 2022 and then again to March 28. Official Page For the environmental review, the FAA said it is updating its target date to April 29 “to consider further comment and ongoing interagency consultation.” The FAA received 19,000 comments on the draft version of the review published last year.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently revealed that the company is hoping to put Starship into orbit for for the first time in May. If the FAA completes the review on time and with an outcome in favor of the company, there’s a chance the launch could take place in a few months. It’s worth noting, however, that Musk’s timeline may be a bit too optimistic.

In the event that the Boca Chica site fails during the FAA’s environmental assessment, or if the agency issues an environmental impact statement (EIS) to dig deeper into the company’s plans over the next few days, next year, then SpaceX can switch to its backup plan. During his Starship presentation earlier this year, Musk said SpaceX had been approved to launch Starship from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The move will delay the vehicle’s first flight by six to eight months, as the company has to build a launch tower on the launch pad, but at least the wait won’t be for years.

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