The Federal Aviation Administration has granted SpaceX final regulatory approval to conduct Starship’s first orbital flight test. By Ars Technica, the FAA on Friday afternoon issued the company a license to launch its next-generation rocket from South Texas. “After a comprehensive license evaluation process, the FAA determined that SpaceX met all safety, environmental, policy, payload, airspace integration, and financial responsibility requirements,” the agency said in a statement. release. “The license is valid for five years.”
Starting Friday, SpaceX saying it would attempt to carry out the long-awaited test on Monday morning, with the launch window opening at 7 am local time. By Ars Technica eric berger, the forecast for Monday’s launch attempt looks ideal, with moderate winds and clear skies. If SpaceX cancels the test, the company has backup opportunities available on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The forecast for Monday morning’s Starship launch attempt is looking incredible at the South Texas launch site: moderate easterly winds, temperatures in the upper 60s (~20°C), and clear skies. The relative humidity is high when you open the window, but drops during the morning.
—Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) April 15, 2023
Getting to this point has been a long road for SpaceX. In addition to all the technical hurdles it has had to overcome, the FAA subjected the company’s Boca Chica facility to a comprehensive environmental assessment. Located near the Gulf of Mexico, the launch site is surrounded by wetlands that are home to hundreds of thousands of shorebirds. Last June, the FAA gave SpaceX a list of 75 actions it needed to complete to protect local wildlife around the facility. With that out of the way, now all the company has to worry about is any remaining technical issues affecting Starship.