The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted SpaceX final regulatory approval for the first orbital flight test of its Starship rocket. The FAA issued a license to SpaceX on Friday, stating that the company has met all safety, environmental, policy, payload, airspace integration, and financial responsibility requirements. The license is valid for five years, and SpaceX has announced plans to attempt the launch on Monday morning, with backup opportunities available on Tuesday and Wednesday if needed.
This milestone comes after a long road for SpaceX, including overcoming technical hurdles and completing a comprehensive environmental assessment of its Boca Chica facility in South Texas. The facility is located near wetlands that are home to hundreds of thousands of shorebirds, and the FAA had previously issued a list of actions for SpaceX to complete to protect the local wildlife. With those requirements met, the company is now focused on addressing any remaining technical issues before the scheduled launch.
With an ideal forecast for the Monday launch attempt, including moderate winds and clear skies, SpaceX is gearing up for this significant orbital flight test of its Starship rocket. The successful completion of this test will mark a major milestone in SpaceX’s ongoing efforts to develop and deploy advanced space technologies.