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Friday, September 22, 2023

Starship’s Second Flight Waits on Regulatory Green Light, FAA Indicates Approval Next Month

The first Starship launch suffered several problems shortly after launch

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Aditya Saikrishna
Aditya Saikrishna
I am 21 years old and an avid Motorsports enthusiast.

UNITED STATES: SpaceX’s ambitious plans for the second flight of its colossal Starship rocket may face a delay, pending regulatory approvals. The aerospace company, led by visionary CEO Elon Musk, is poised for another historic launch from its Starbase facility in South Texas. 

Musk has confirmed that the vehicle is prepared for liftoff, pending the necessary clearance from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Acting FAA administrator Polly Trottenberg expressed confidence in their collaborative efforts, stating, “Teams are working together, and I think we’re optimistic [about issuing a license] sometime next month.”

This anticipated approval comes after the FAA concluded its investigation into Starship’s inaugural flight on April 20, which encountered complications leading to an intentional detonation above the Gulf of Mexico.

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The investigation yielded 63 identified “corrective actions” for SpaceX, 57 of which have been promptly addressed, as confirmed by Musk. The remaining six pertain to future missions and pose no hindrance to Flight 2’s readiness.

Despite the imminent license, uncertainties loom over the mission’s timeline, as additional environmental approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service remains pending.

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Elon Musk’s fervent aspiration is to establish a cadence of frequent Starship flights, aligning with SpaceX’s ethos of rapid iteration and rigorous testing.

The forthcoming mission shares similar objectives with its predecessor, seeking to propel Starship’s upper stage around Earth before a targeted splashdown near Hawaii.

As the aerospace industry holds its breath for the monumental event, all eyes are on the FAA’s forthcoming decision, poised to set the stage for another milestone in space exploration.

Also Read: NASA Astronaut Frank Rubio Sets New Record for Longest U.S. Space Mission


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