Image credit: SpaceX

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) SpaceX Boca Chica Project Team reports that the FAA has not authorized SpaceX’s proposed Flight 2.

The report comes in the form of a September 15 update on FAA license determinations for SpaceX’s proposed Starship-Super Heavy Flight 2.

SpaceX conducted a test flight of the Starship/Super Heavy at Boca Chica, Texas on April 20, 2023. As a result of that launch, SpaceX completed a mishap investigation with FAA oversight; this investigation analyzed the launch, mishap events, and corrective actions.

Modified license

According to the FAA team statement, before SpaceX is okayed to conduct a second Starship/Super Heavy launch, “SpaceX must obtain a modified license from the FAA that addresses all safety, environmental, and other regulatory requirements.”

As part of that license application determination process, the FAA will review new environmental information, including changes related to the launch pad, as well as other proposed vehicle and flight modifications.

Drone view of recent SpaceX Booster 9 static fire test.
Image credit: SpaceX/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Written reevaluation

The FAA will complete a Written Reevaluation (WR) to the 2022 Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) evaluating the new environmental information, including Endangered Species Act consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

If the FAA determines through the WR process that the contents of the PEA do not remain valid in light of the changes proposed for Flight 2, additional environmental review will be required.

“Accordingly, the FAA has not authorized SpaceX’s proposed Flight 2,” the team statement notes.

The FAA will provide updates with notification of any license determination or results of additional environmental review.

Starship vehicle is fully stacked at Starbase in South Texas on Sept. 5, 2023.
Image credit: SpaceX



Leave a Reply